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Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 09:18 UK
Calls to Prince's Trust in the South West shoot up
Job Centre in Bristol
The Prince's Trust says a lack of jobs has led to more calls to them

Calls to the Prince's Trust in the South West have shot up by 150% in the past 18 months.

Sue Porto, the South West director of the organisation which gives young people training and support, said the increase was "tremendous".

"I would say the number of enquiries we're getting from young people is in the region of 1,000 enquiries a month," she told BBC Bristol.

Ms Porto blamed a lack of employment opportunities for the rise.

The trust usually supports about 3,200 young people a year and generally helps people who have been unemployed for long periods or those who have been in care.

It also gives help to young people who have struggled at school and those who have been in trouble with the law.

Jobs market

But with the country suffering from an economic downturn Ms Porto says a lack of jobs has had a real impact on these people.

"What's happened, particularly to the young people the Prince's Trust supports, is that [they] have been pushed further and further from the jobs market," Ms Porto said.

"Graduates are struggling to find work and they are young people with skills who are probably quite highly employable.

"If they're struggling to find work then our young people are struggling even more."

"You can see that the need is absolutely staggering," she added.

A survey published in January from the trust said unemployed young people could suffer from "permanent psychological scars" due to being out of work.

Latest figures show almost a million 16-25s are unemployed.

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