TOO many young people are still feeling the effects of the worst recession in recent history.
Those with fewest qualifications are being pushed further back in the queue for work, leaving thousands stranded in the dole queue.
This month, The Prince's Trust and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group have released their Cost of Exclusion report which revealed how much this youth disadvantage is costing the UK.
In Yorkshire alone, youth unemployment could cost up to 16 million a week through benefits and lost productivity.
Even a conservative estimate – based on lost productivity being equivalent to Jobseeker's Allowance – suggests that youth unemployment costs per week for Yorkshire would be more than 5 million.
Based on lost productivity being equivalent to the average weekly wage for their age group, the cost of youth unemployment in Yorkshire is 16 million a week.
Youth charity The Prince's Trust can give young people the skills and confidence to leave the dole queue for good for a fraction of this cost. At this time when there is huge pressure on the public purse, the Cost of Exclusion report shows that it is possible to help young people into jobs while saving the state billions. Government, charities and employers must work together now to deliver this vital change.
To find out more go to www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842.
Samantha Kennedy, regional director for The Prince's Trust in Yorkshire and The Humber
Fury at violence
I AM incensed by the disgraceful behaviour of the supposed "students against the increase in university fees". Incensed for two reasons.
Firstly, I am certain that the majority of intelligent students must be as horrified as I was at the violence and vandalism shown by the protestors (of which I am sure many were thugs out for trouble and probably not students).
Secondly, by the sheer scale of the violence and damage these protests created.
We are very lucky to live in democracy. We are allowed freedom of speech and freedom to protest but this does not extend to a freedom for mindless destruction of property. Add to this the disgraceful assault on Prince Charles and his lady wife.
I sincerely hope that the two royals are no worse for their experience and equally hope that the perpetrators of the violence and vandalism are all called to book to pay for the damage.
Where are their brain cells?
Damage to public property demonstrates stupidity (not something we should expect of the educated illuminati supposedly protesting) since the money to repair the damage has to come from public funds which, in turn, can only diminish the government coffers at a time of recession and austerity.
Gordon Mayne, Wortley
A REPORT from an official source states that the Irish government has stopped all bonus payments to their bankers, thus saving some billions of pounds. It's just a pity that our lot don't do the same.
The Irish are the butt of many a joke, but it seems that in this matter they are miles ahead of our own bunch, who seem to demonstrate a remarkable lack of ideas.
Or is it that they don't wish to upset those powerful institutions who seem to have a total disregard for the havoc they have caused?
E A Lundy, Leeds
WE have heard from Wakefield and District Housing that nothing is to be placed in communal areas of flats. This includes mobility scooters etc.
All we have is a bag of rock salt behind the front door ready to be spread out on the step, which is concrete and very dangerous when slippy. They are saying that it's a safety hazard, according to the fire service.
JOHN STEADMAN, Wakefield