BARNSLEY needs better public transport links to help get young people and the long-term unemployed into work, according to the council’s Economy and Skills Scrutiny Commission.

Its investigation into action being taken to help grow the borough’s economy heard from four local business people about the challenges they faced running their enterprises in Barnsley.

The key thing that was discovered was the absence of good public transport links which meant it was almost impossible for some young people to take up sought-after apprenticeships.

The council and its partners are set to work closely with local transport providers and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, to make sure everything possible is being done to link local job seekers to major employers.

The Commission was also told that Barnsley needs 1,500 new businesses in order to reach the Yorkshire and Humber average.

“The council and its partners are doing everything they can to bring new jobs to Barnsley, and that hard work needs to continue,'' said Cllr Dick Wraith.

''However, we need to make sure that local people can get to the jobs that are out there, especially young people, who can lose out to older competitors who have their own transport and don’t need to rely on bus services to get them to work.''