Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Young protesters march for jobs

Protesters on the Youth Fight For Jobs march
Youth unemployment has risen by 15,000 to 943,000

More than 1,000 unemployed young people have marched through central London demanding jobs as the rate of youth unemployment stands at a record high.

Students, union activists and campaigners condemned the government for "failing our futures".

Organiser Sean Figg said: "Young people are more of an investment than the banks, yet the government has not seen things that way."

Earlier this month the UK youth unemployment rate rose to 19.8%.

Unemployment in the UK totalled 2.46 million in the three months to September, although the 30,000 increase was the smallest since May 2008.

Where I'm from graduates feel lucky to flip burgers
Protester Luke Ivory

Nevertheless youth unemployment - measuring the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work - rose by 15,000 to 943,000.

Protesters travelled from as far afield as France and northern Scotland to join the march past the Houses of Parliament.

Luke Ivory, who has been unemployed in Dundee for the past six months, said: "Where I'm from graduates feel lucky to flip burgers."

The 26-year-old added: "The government has done absolutely nothing to help so this generation must take things into our own hands."

'Socially useful'

Mr Figg, spokesman for organisers Youth Fight for Jobs, said: "There's all sorts of socially useful work that could be created and that's why we are here today.

"Is it going to take an entire generation before ministers take notice?"

Youth unemployment in London boroughs ranges from 4% to 12%, Youth Fight for Jobs said.

John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington in west London, supported the march.

"This march highlights the plight of the million young people who are now unemployed and the many more who are facing joblessness as a result of this recession," he said.

"Young people are being forced to pay for the economic crisis whilst bankers award themselves another £5bn in bonuses this month."

Following the march, demonstrators gathered in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

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