Ed Miliband and Julie Elliott meet apprentices at Liebherr CraneEd Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party, visited Wearside today as official statistics showed that unemployment in the North East has climbed again by 20,000.

Unemployment currently stand at 146,000 in the region, 11.6% of the working population. Since January, long-term youth umemployment has increased by 106% in the North East and 117% in Sunderland.

Mr Miliband toured Liebherr Sunderland works on the banks of the River Wear meeting apprentices and employees. Mr Miliband then took place in a question and answer session with the workforce on the factory floor.

Responding to the news that over 1 million young people across the country were now unemployed, Ed Miliband said:

"This is a terrible day for Britain with the news that the number of young people who cannot find work has risen over one million.

"Instead of blaming everyone else and trying to find excuses in the eurozone, the Government should recognise that the British economy has been flatlining for a year - long before this recent crisis began.

"David Cameron needs to start listening, take some responsibility and change course. The Government should adopt Labour's five point plan for jobs and growth, showing it can take action to get our economy moving again and, most of all, get our young people back to work.

"If the Government fails to do that and sticks to a plan that is hurting but not working, it will prove it is totally out of touch with the needs of business, with the needs of young people and the needs of our country."