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Radio 5live; Unemployment Debate

Unemployment Debate on Radio 5live @ MediaCity


Today as the latest unemployment figures published showed an increase of 48000, taking the national figure up to a startling 2.67million, Radio 5live’s Victoria Derbyshire held a special debate at MediaCity. 


Consisting of 200 unemployed people as well representative MPs from each party, the debate provided an insight into the social as well as economical issues that mass unemployment is causing.


“I feel humiliated” stated one unemployed teacher who, like many in the room, is desperately seeking work in a climate which is constantly experiencing public sector cuts.


Tory representative, Sam Gyimah, came under heavy criticism from the audience for the way in which the coalition government is handling unemployment across the UK. Following questions regarding the job-seekers allowance and a challenge from an audience member, Gymiah stated that “if there’s anyone to blame why we are here, it’s the previous government”. 


The number of young people experiencing unemployment has also increased by 22000, taking the unemployment figure of 16-24 year-olds to 1.04million.


One nineteen year-old told how he had success by taking part in a scheme established by the local fire department which gave him the skills and contacts to acquire a job as a lifeguard. Asking how he found his experience before finding work, he added “I spent 6 months unemployed, the Job Centre still wasn’t helping me”.


The role of the Job Centre was a key subject of the debate with many members of the audience feeling that they had been ‘let down’ by the lack of support. Many of those at the debate had abandoned it all together and have now taken their own initiative to contact employers directly themselves. 


Also present were representatives from various companies providing their contribution to assist the national job crisis. Norman Pickavance, HR director for Morrisons, stated that “this year we’re creating 7500 jobs across the UK” later adding that these positions will promote advancement to managerial roles in the company. 


Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire after the debate she added “I thought there were some fantastic contributions from people who are working so hard to try and get a job... that’s what we really brought up in front of a group of politicians today”.



Oliver Kurt


^CHALLENGE Audience member challenges conversative MP Sam Gyimah


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