City of York Council economic scrutiny committee did substantial research and produced recommendations on how to tackle youth unemployment in 2012-13. An ambitious target of a 40 per cent reduction was set. I am delighted that it has been exceeded due to collaborative efforts across the public and private sector.

Scrutiny began in May 2012 when there were 875 Job Seeker Allowance (JSA) claimants aged 18 to 24 years, of which 290 had not worked for more than six months. As of December 2013 there were 465 with 105 out of work for more than six months. York’s total youth JSA claimants fell 47 per cent and long-term unemployment fell 64 per cent.

York has the third lowest youth unemployment rate of 64 UK cities. York has made exceptional strides in helping young people find or start their own jobs. There will always be some churn between jobs. We are not complacent as the aim is full employment for those able and willing to work. Jobs and growth bring real prosperity. We can all be proud of York’s exceptional record on jobs.

Coun Anna Semlyen, chair, economic and city strategy overview and scrutiny committee, Labour councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe.