Number of young out of work soars

The number of young people out of work for longer than two years has more than doubled since 2008, according to new research.

A study by The Prince's Trust showed a 168% increase, with an even bigger jump in 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for at least six months.

Yorkshire and the Humber had the biggest increase in those claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or longer, with some parts of the region hit by a 12-fold rise since before the recession.

There were 17 times as many young people out of work in Melton in Leicestershire and south Somerset than four years ago, the youth charity said.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust, said: "Long-term unemployment can lead to a downward spiral of poverty, homelessness, depression."

The charity will stage a youth forum on unemployment on Wednesday, on the same day as the latest official jobless figures are published.