BARNSLEY has topped the chart for being the place with the fastest growing youth unemployment rate in the UK.

A study shows that Barnsley ranks in the top 10 places with the fastest-growing youth unemployment rate, analysis by education specialist Ambitious Minds has shown.

Yorkshire and the Humber have been hit by youth claimant count rises that are twice as large as London and the South East. And in Barnsley, the number of young people claiming Job Seekers Allowance has rocketed.

Sean McGuire, chief executive of Ambitious Minds, said: “Those areas which have suffered disproportionately in the last five years need support to prevent unemployment, and especially long-term unemployment, becoming normalised.

“As the economy stagnates, young people and the organisations which support them must understand and grapple with the employment issues that are facing them.”

Barnsley MP John Healey says the new employment statistics for under 24s had rocketed.

He added: "Long term youth unemployment here in Wentworth and Dearne is up 246 per cent in the last year, but ministers are still clinging to the failing policies that have driven our economy back into recession.“

In Barnsley Central the number of people aged 18 - 24 claiming JSA has rocketed from 45 in 2011 to 170 in June 2012. In Barnsley East the number has risen from 65 to 190 and in Wentworth and the Dearne it has gone from 65 to 225.

In Barnsley Central there are around five claimants for every vacancy, while in Barnsley East it is over 13 applicants and in the Dearne it is 11.