This week we established a Taskforce to tackle youth unemployment and youth opportunities in Bassetlaw.
Our young people are being hit hardest by the recession, with a lack of job opportunities and on- going real training.
Those who stay on at sixth form centres are performing well but face £9,000 tuition fees if they want to take the university route, while the number of local apprenticeships and permanent job opportunities is far too limited.
Creating a skill that will sustain them throughout their working life is by far the biggest challenge.
Working with the council leader Simon Greaves, who has today initiated the Taskforce across our Local Strategic Partnership, I received a commitment from the Prime Minister of full Government co-operation.
This is the first such localised taskforce in the country and it will seek to expand youth opportunities, with jobs, access to business premises and finance, apprenticeships and enhanced school/college employer link ups.
We saw with the spread of heroin across Bassetlaw what happens when you lose a generation.
Some of those youths remain a major nuisance today through crime and alcohol. We need to work together to make sure this does not happen again.
We also need to improve youth leisure provision in our area, to give a feeling of respect and self worth to those seeking jobs and we need to challenge directly the long licensing hours culture and binge drinking that is prevalent today.
From the handwriting on the envelope it clearly was not a young person who was sick enough to send my wife a dead bird through the post this week.
Young people tell me they are sickened by the disgusting and cowardly sick person. I trust that the police will soon find and arrest the culprit and take appropriate action.
It is time we got behind our young people and challenge the growing scourge of youth unemployment. And from housing to sport, from finances to public services we intend to ensure that the current young generation get a real chance in Bassetlaw.
I have an exciting weekend ahead and I’m very glad the sun is shining. I am very proud to be walking my eldest daughter down the aisle when it only seems like yesterday that I was chasing her tricycle down the footpath.
So, I want to wish good luck and good health to Rachel and Richard.