A CONSERVATIVE councillor has hit out at Thurrock Council for missing its target of ensuring five per cent of its staff are aged between 16 and 24.

The most recent set of census data shows 10 per cent of Thurrock residents are between these ages, but only four per cent of the council’s staff fall into this bracket.

Cllr Charlie Key, who is 23 himself, also questioned whether a target of five per cent is high enough.

He said: “Everybody is concerned about youth unemployment, so the council’s low target is disappointing.

“I am one of several councillors under 24, more than 5 per cent in fact, and I know many young people are passionate about what they do and could drive the council forward if they were part of our staff.

“There is bags of talent in our young people and Thurrock Council is well placed to capitalise.

“We should not be afraid to bang the drum for the young and give them the opportunities they deserve.”