SOUTHAMPTON is bucking the trend when it comes to youth unemployment, according to a new report.

A study by the Work Foundation has revealed that unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds in Southampton is below 13 per cent - compared to more than 25 per cent in many other cities across the UK.

The average is almost one in five across the country, but the problem is so “endemic” that even those cities with the lowest rates of around 13 per cent are still a third higher than the national average in Germany (8.6 per cent) and well above cities such as Hamburg (five per cent), said the research group.

A number of youth unemployment “blackspots” were identified with jobless rates above 25 per cent, including Middlesbrough, Barnsley, Glasgow, Grimsby, Coventry, Bradford and Hull.

But in other cities, the youth unemployment rate was 13 per cent or lower, including Southampton, York, Reading, Cambridge and Aberdeen.

The Work Foundation said youngsters leaving school with only GCSEs were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those with better qualifications.

The report called for action to improve apprenticeships, more work experience placements and batter careers advice.

Lizzie Crowley of the Work Foundation said: “The UK's youth unemployment crisis continues to affect almost a million young people, even in the recovery.

“It is shocking that in some cities almost a third of young people are looking for work but are unable to find it.

“Urgent action is needed to ensure young people get the right support to either continue in school, further training or with getting a job.

“Central government's top-down attempts to tackle the crisis have failed. Local government must now be tasked with setting up youth transition partnerships to bring together schools, colleges, third sector organisations and local businesses to develop tailored policy responses suitable for each city.”