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Issue:- 21 March 2013

MEP supports guarantee for unemployed youth

"AT last - a glimmer of hope for Britain's lost youth," said Local Labour Euro MP Arlene McCarthy after an agreement reached by EU governments to bring in an EU-wide youth guarantee.'

The youth guarantee will ensure that all young people under the age of 25 get an offer of good quality employment, continuing education, apprenticeship or traineeship after an extended period of unemployment or leaving formal education.

Arlene added that:- "1 in 4 young people active in the labour market in the North West are unemployed, the highest level for almost 25 years. I call on the British government to use the UK's share of the €6 billion Youth Guarantee funds to save a generation of young people in our region.  Tory MEPs were almost alone in the European Parliament back in December last year as MEPs from across the political spectrum were united in our calls for a guarantee to unemployed youth to get a job for a fixed period."

Labour Euro MPs launch a campaign for a Youth Jobs Guarantee at last year's Labour Conference, and followed this up with a conference in Nottingham, where unemployed youth from across the EU met with employers, Labour Leader Ed Miliband and EU politicians to discuss different approaches to youth unemployment.

In December last year, Labour MEPs supported the TUC's 'Charter for a Future That Works' whose aims also included calls for guaranteed paid work or training after a period of unemployment for unemployed youth.

Arlene added "In Britain, there are a million young people who are unemployed. Across Europe, it's over five million. This is devastating for the young people themselves, but also a huge waste for our economy, with potentially disastrous implications for the future. We now need to ensure that any scheme set up in the UK as a result of the Youth Guarantee actually creates real employment."

Labour Euro MPs lead initiative to remove asbestos from the EU

LABOUR Euro MPs have been successful in getting a new initiative on removing asbestos from public buildings in the EU overwhelmingly accepted by the European Parliament by a large majority with 558 votes in favour and just 51 against.

The report called for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings and buildings requiring public access by 2028, an EU-wide model for screening and registration of asbestos, and a roadmap for its removal.

Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy said:- "Around 4,000 people die every year in the UK due to asbestos related illnesses, making it the county's single greatest cause of work-related death. In my own region I have heard first hand from the victims of asbestos related diseases about the devastating impact it has on theirs and their families lives. We are calling for the EU to work for a global ban on asbestos. Dumping asbestos on developing countries is a scandal, so we are also calling for the EU to use its weight as the world's largest economy in international forums such as the WTO to put an end to this. Governments must now recognise the dangers of white asbestos (chrysotile) as well as blue and brown asbestos."

The vote was passed overwhelmingly by MEPs on Wednesday, 13 March 2013, with only a few extreme eurosceptic politicians in the EFD Group of UKIP and its allies voting against the measure.

Arlene added:- "UKIP are isolated in their view that white asbestos is 'harmless', as there is strong consensus from scientists to the contrary. This is not a pro or anti Europe issue, it's about the number of people dying in the UK from asbestos-related diseases."

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