A graduation ceremony was held for young people on work experience as part of a scheme to tackle a surge in youth unemployment.

More than 36 businesses took part in Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh’s Work Experience Scheme, ranging from schools to medical placements, with over 40 work experience volunteers securing placements.

Ms McDonagh treated the successful applicants to a tour of the House of Commons, where they were presented certificates by its Speaker, John Bercow MP.

Ms McDonagh said: “I felt compelled to help because the effect of unemployment is perhaps greatest on our young people.

“If they cannot get work early in life and learn the discipline of the workplace, it becomes harder to find work.

"For older people, gaps in a CV can make life difficult when applying for jobs, but for young people it is much worse.”

Clarissa Fernandes, a work experience volunteer, said: “It was hard work but definitely worth it in the end.

"I’ve made some good friends at work and learnt a lot about securing future employment.”

Since taking part in the scheme, Miss Fernandes has secured a permanent contract with B&Q in Burlington Road, New Malden.

Ms McDonagh organised the Work Experience scheme this summer, when youth unemployment reached 895,000 nationally and had increased to 11.6 per cent in Mitcham and Morden.

Have you struggled to find work since leaving school or college? Leave a comment below or call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email: newsdesk@wimbledonguardian.co.uk.