Mark Harper accused Labour of "sleepwalking" through the unemployment crisis after the latest job figures revealed 2.43 million people are now out of work.
The number of unemployed increased by 220,000 in the three months to June, meaning unemployment is at its highest level since 1995.
928,000 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work, accounting for 38 per cent of all unemployment.
Mark, the Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, stressed, "Unemployment is fast becoming the most pressing social economic and political problem plaguing Britain."
And he warned that unemployed young people had been "cast adrift by a government sleepwalking through this crisis":
"More than a decade of complacency and neglect by Labour means the huge skills gap was never tackled during the economic boom. I urge Ministers to wake up, stop writing off a generation of young people and adopt our proposal for 100,000 more apprenticeships."