The number of young people claiming job seeker's allowance in Epsom and Ewell has increased 50 per cent from last year.

Statistics from the department of work and pensions show in April 1018 there were 75 claimants aged between 18-24, up from 50 in April 2017.

Across all ages, the change is less dramatic: 370 people were claiming in April 2017, in twelve months this has risen to 400.

This means there is only an increase of eight per cent in total.

However, of the 30 new claimants, 25 were age 18-24.

It's not clear why young people are now claiming more, but Sally Pound from Horsham Jobcentre suggested many possible reasons for fluctuations.

She said: "It could be they are leaving college, they could be care leavers, they could be people with a mental health issue who are taking longer to get back into work.

"We need to make sure they are getting the support they need."

Through a partnership with Unilever, Epsom Jobcentre has been offering work experience to young people, who are assigned a mentor and given interview practice.

Some take to it so well they go on to apply for apprenticeships with Unilever.

Ms Pound added that the attitude towards people out of work has changed. "It's not just ticking boxes. We approach them with a more holistic view, spending the quality time with that individual."

All Jobcentre sites within Surrey are preparing for the arrival of Universal Credit Full Service in the autumn.

This means all new claimants will have to use the Universal Credit benefits system, but 'legacy' benefits claimants will still be able to receive jobseeker's.