SINCE leaving school a year ago Karina West has been turned down for more than 100 jobs.

But the 17-year-old is not alone. Karina is one of more than 1,500 unemployed youngsters in Swindon.

And, according to a new report, that number could treble over the next two years.

According to research institute Centre For Cities, the number of unemployed youngsters in Swindon has rocketed from 2.39 per cent in February last year to 7.67 per cent last month – the highest increase in the country.

Karina, who has never had a job, and currently lives with her parents in Stratton Road, Stratton, said: “I have been looking for an office administration job for about a year now.

“I was sending out three CVs a week at one point but now I am sending out less because I started to get disheartened about the whole thing.

“Most of my friends are unemployed, some go to college and others just keep looking for work, there is just nothing out there at the moment because of this recession.”

The former Kingsdown School pupil added: “I am losing hope at the minute, I have had two interviews out of all those applications.”

Despite failing to secure a full-time position, Karina says she is lucky because she has managed to enrol on a hairdressing course in September.

Her boyfriend Kristian Chichester, 19, from Hathaway Road, Upper Stratton, who is also unemployed, said most of his friends are currently unemployed and looking for work.

He said: “It is because of the recession, there are jobs out there but they are all skilled, usually ones that teenagers wouldn’t be able to get.”

Claire Maugham, a spokeswoman for Centre For Cities said: “Karina sounds exactly like the sort of person that suffers from the scarring effect.

“She sounds like the sort of person that would, under normal circumstances, already have got a job straight out of school.

“However, when people spend a long time unemployed early in their careers their futures suffer, whether that be her confidence, the way employers view her, or her skills going out of date.

“She is the kind of person that Government’s £1bm fund should be going to help, it should be a recession-fighting fund.”

She added that Swindon could receive more funding in the near future because of the large rise in youth unemployment.

Other cities in the north of England have higher youth unemployment but Claire said those are not as significant as Swindon because rates in those towns and cities began at higher levels.