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Eden Project to take on more than 20 apprentices

The apprentices will be trained in a range of jobs including working in horticulture and hospitality Credit: ITV Westcountry

Cornwall's Eden Project unveils its biggest ever apprenticeship scheme today.

More than 20 apprentices will be taken on at the end of the month. They'll work in a variety of areas including horticulture, vehicle maintenance and hospitality.

The scheme is being run in partnership with Cornwall College and the Edge Foundation.

Recruitment Agency say downturn in tourism is greater than other years

Recruitment agency Manpower UK says the downturn in tourism employment across the South West this year is greater now than it has been for years. Manpower UK says their survey shows a majority of employers in the South West won't be taking on new staff.

James Hick is from Manpower UK:

They say the South West will lag behind the rest of the country. The powerhouse of London and the South East are predicted to do well and manufacturing in the East and West Midlands gives the area a huge boost. But employment growth in the South West is predicted to stall.

Manpower UK say some employers have stopped trying to find IT workers, engineers and financiers because they know the skills they're looking for don't exist. Contraction there and saturation of the tourism employment market explains why businesses aren't expecting growth in jobs.

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Unemployment rises in the South West

The number of people out of work in the South West has risen despite a decrease in unemployment nationally.

Official figures show the number of unemployed people in the region now stands at 137,000 - an increase of 1,000 from the previous quarter. According to the recruitment group Manpower, employers in the south west say they're unliikely to take on staff over the coming months.

Positive unemployment figures for South West

The latest jobs figures for the South West show 137,000 people were unemployed in our region for the months May to July 2014. This is a slight increase on the previous quarter of February to April when 136,000 were out of work.

The unemployment rate has risen 0.1% to 5.0%, which is still one of the lowest rates it's been for the last 6 years.

Across the whole of the UK unemployment fell by 146,000 to 2.02million in the three months to the end of the July. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, its lowest rate since the September to November 2008.

Job fears for the South West

Prospects look gloomy for the West Country's job seekers Credit: PA

Employers across every region of the country are expecting to take on more people over the next three months, except in the South West.

The figures come from the recruitment group Manpower UK.

It says heavy reliance on tourism and a jobs boom in recent years means growth in the South West has ground to a halt.

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Alexander: Economic recovery is gaining momentum

Figures showing a fall in unemployment shows Britain's economic recovery is "continuing to gain momentum", the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. Credit: PA Wire

"With record numbers in work and the claimant count falling, these figures show that our economic recovery is continuing to gain momentum," Mr Alexander said.

"It's further proof that our Liberal Democrat tax cuts for working people, support for apprenticeships and our determination to tackle the deficit fairly are working - and so is the country.

"There is still a long way to go, but this is solid progress and the significant fall in youth employment is particularly encouraging and welcome."

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Unemployment rises to 145,000 in South West

The number of people out of work in the South West has risen by 10 thousand to 145,000. It is the only region in the country that has seen an increase.

Nationally, unemployment has continued to fall, while the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance is on course to dip below a million for the first time in six years.

The jobless total was 2.08 million in the quarter to June, down by 132,000 on January to March and the lowest since the end of 2009, giving an unemployment rate of 6.4%.