I spent last week at the Labour Party Conference. I had not been in the Liverpool since 1997. I was amazed by the transformation brought about by the investment and regeneration under a Labour Government. Conference was dominated by concerns about the economy and cuts to public services. At a discussion called “Scouts Speak Out “ scouts from all over England expressed concerns about cuts to youth services, educational maintenance allowances, rising tuition fees and lack of employment opportunities for young people. Unemployment for those aged 16-24 is now 20.8%- one in five - the highest since comparable figures began in 1992. In July 2011, 973,000 people aged 16-24 were unemployed, an increase of 78,000 on the previous quarter. Those aged 18 or over claiming Jobseekers Allowance increased by 20,300 between July and August 2011 to 1.58 million people. The wider International Labour Organisation measure of unemployment was 2.51 million in July 2011, a rise of 80,000. Employment in the public sector decreased by 111,000 in a quarter and fell by 240,000 on the previous year . The government argues that jobs in the NHS, police, education and local government will be replaced by more jobs in the private sector. But employment there increased by only 41,000 over the previous quarter. Locally businesses tell me things are very difficult. In Ilford South the number of unemployed claimants was 4,311 in August - 7.9% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. This was 616 higher than in August 2010 and 111 higher than in July 2011. As growth forecasts are downgraded yet again it is clear that policies of this Conservative led government are hurting but they are not working. Unless the government changes course we risk condemning a generation of young people to years of disillusion, debt and despair.