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NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE CONFIRMED BY MPs

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A report published today by the Labour-dominated commons education and employment committee will back up recent stu...
A report published today by the Labour-dominated commons education and employment committee will back up recent studies which have claimed Britain is suffering from a north-south employment divide, according to The Financial Times (p7).

The MPs say that of the 164 parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of unemployment, only 11 are located in southern England, outside London, with a further 30 in the capital.

They add that 'a lack of appropriate jobs in certain parts of the country is one of the barriers to employment'.

The MPs claim that cost of public transport is one of the 'insurmountable barriers to mobility and employment' together with poor communication skills among the longer-term jobless and discrimination by employers.

'Unemployment is a function of many factors including the mismatch between the pool of skills and job requirements, employers' attitudes, the quality of information and advice on jobs that is available to job seekers and preconceptions about what constitutes a 'proper' job,' the report argues.

It adds: 'All of these factors will be present to varying degrees. Denying any of them leads to a less sophisticated and effective response to problems in low-employment areas.

'Both demand-side and supply-side policies are necessary and the manner in which these policies are coupled in an effort to construct a coherent response is crucial to their effectiveness.'

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