Business leaders in the West Midlands have expressed ‘deep concern’ over the rise in unemployment.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed that 268,000 people in the region were out of work.
Steve Brittan, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said:
This trend is of deep concern to us, given that our region suffers from a chronic skills shortage. Apprenticeships will be a crucial component in the bid to supply students with the skills required by companies in the region. The Chamber has been working with the National Apprenticeship Office to encourage businesses to take on apprentices.
Employment minister Mark Hoban MP said the recent rise in unemployment in the West Midlands is a 'real shock'.
He said: "It's a real shock and a very disappointing number, it does demonstrate that although economy is strong in the West Midlands, and we have seen progress, there is more work that we have to do to help people into work."
"In the West Midlands we've seen 13,500 people who've previously been out of work for a year find work for six months."