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Only 13 new sixth form and further education places for Newcastle in Government announcement

July 28, 2009 2:15 PM

Speaking ahead of a ministerial announcement in Newcastle on the launch of the Government's Backing Young Britain campaign, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone has warned that the Government still has much to do on this issue.

The Government is expected to announce that Lib Dem-run Newcastle City Council has successfully bid for cash from the Future Jobs Fund, creating additional work opportunities for young people, following the Lib Dem city council's success in increasing the number of apprenticeships for young people and the widely-commended Newcastle Futures partnership chaired by Greg Stone.

However, Greg Stone has warned the Government that it must not be complacent on this issue, and has highlighted several areas of concern.

He said "Whilst funding for new job creation schemes for unemployed young people is good news, I believe it is important to note that under the Labour government the proportion of young people not in education, employment, or training is rising and unemployment in Newcastle is as high as 1 in 6 in parts of the city.

"I am wary of triumphant Government announcements about funding for young people's training, as I note there are only 13 extra FE and sixth form places identified for Newcastle. There is a very real fear that there will not be sufficient places for sixth form entry and for first year university places following problems with LSC and DIUS funding streams. I am also deeply concerned that the Government has bungled the Building Colleges for the Future programme leaving FE institutions in perilous financial straits".