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Calls for Chancellor’s budget to tackle high level of jobless youths

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 10, 2014

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CHANCELLOR George Osborne should use his budget to encourage businesses to hire young people, according to a Burton business chief.

The leader of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce Chris Plant spoke out after it emerged Britain’s GDP is due to exceed its pre-recession peak during the next quarter.

But Mr Plant warned youth unemployment was expected to remain almost three times the national average between 2014-16.

He said: “Our economic recovery is gaining momentum. Businesses across the UK are expanding and creating jobs, and our increasingly sunny predictions for growth are a testament to their drive.

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“Our new forecast shows that the service sector is performing particularly well, and is likely to be a key driver of growth. And the manufacturing sector, although small, is pulling its weight too, and will play an important role in sustaining our recovery.

“But it’s not time to break out the champagne glasses just yet. Major issues remain, such as the unacceptably high level of youth unemployment.

“We urge the Chancellor to use this month’s Budget wisely by incentivising businesses to hire young people so that the next generation of workers are not left behind.

“Crucially, Britain is simply not investing enough. While business investment is expected to grow, it will remain way below pre-crisis levels for some time.

“There is also more to do in securing access to finance for growing firms – as this too will be crucial to securing our economic future.”

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