The Government have warned that the Tower Hamlets Mayor is not doing enough to track young people’s progress after they leave education. A worrying 7.2% of young people were unaccounted for after leaving education leading to real concerns that the number of people not currently in education, training or employment (NEET) may be well above the 4.9% the Mayor’s publicly acknowledges.
Labour have called on the Mayor to sharpen up his act and to put measures in place to ensure that young people are properly supported when they leave education.
Their candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, pledged that he would take action to tackle the root causes of youth unemployment as opposed to the current Mayor who he describes as ‘burying his head in the sand’.
Tower Hamlets was one of only two London boroughs to receive written warnings from the Government expressing serious concerns about the failure of the borough to collect this information.
Labour’s Education spokesperson, Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs, said:
“The Mayor really needs to get a grip on this issue. Youth unemployment is a huge challenge for our borough and if he doesn’t even know how big the problem is, how is he ever going to make progress? It's deeply concerning that the Council is not on top of the figures, which could hide the true scale of need in Tower Hamlets.
"With almost every other London borough able to properly keep track of those leaving education, there is no excuse for this failure.”
Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“Dealing with the challenges of youth unemployment will take a serious effort to tackle the root causes. Whether low skills and self-confidence, low horizons, individual health problems, childcare and or cultural issues, to name a but few, we must be focused on realising the potential of all our young people.
“Ignoring the problem will solve nothing. As Mayor I will put tackling the causes of unemployment at the forefront of my administration and not allow the Council to bury its head in the sand as the current Mayor seems intent on doing.”