MP wants youths to be better informed

THE town’s MP is urging the Government to use Facebook and text messages amid concerns young people are cut off from the decisions which affect their lives.

Amber Rudd surveyed more than 250 young people across her Hastings and Rye constituency and found that the vast majority were unaware that the welfare system is set to change.

Furthermore, less than one in 20 youngsters thought the systems to help young people find jobs were effective.

And with the Coalition Government set to announce sweeping changes in health, education and the benefit system over the coming months, Ms Rudd is calling on her colleagues to use the internet more to interact with younger voters.

She is aghast that between April and September the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that oversees benefits spent just £6,625 on electronic communications aimed at young people, compared with £211,000 on literature such as leaflets.

Ms Rudd said: “The results highlight a significant gap between the way young people like to receive information and the way it is communicated to them. This divergence raises real concern about how effectively local and national agencies are communicating with young people.

“Almost 70 per cent of young people in Hastings were unaware that Saga would be creating 800 jobs in the town. How can we get young people into work if they don’t know about the jobs that are available?

“If young people say they would like to receive more information through Facebook or by text messaging, we should heed this advice and not keep wasting money on glossy leaflets that people aren’t reading,” she added.

Employment minister Chris Grayling has agreed to meet with Ms Rudd to discuss her findings which have been welcomed by Citizens Advice 1066.