2nd April 2012
It has been a particularly trying time for young people in Scotland with far fewer jobs on the go, and the support mechanisms to help them find work falling by the wayside.
In this fraught environment they need all the help they can get and I was encouraged by Inverclyde Councils announcement this week to provide half a million pound worth of investment to help our young people back into work.
The council has already demonstrated its commitment to tackling youth unemployment in Inverclyde through targeted initiatives with young people from care leavers to graduates.
Sadly, the council’s commitment has not been matched by the Scottish Government. Only two weekends ago the SNP allocated nine million pound worth of funding to six areas of Scotland, including Glasgow and Renfrewshire, but failed to include Inverclyde.
I found this surprising given that there are currently just under a thousand young people aged between eighteen and twenty four who are claiming Job Seekers Allowance in our area.
Unfortunately, the council alone cannot solve this problem and it needs support from the Scottish Government.
I challenged the Youth Unemployment Minister on her decision to exclude Inverclyde in Parliament this week but received the usual listing of statistics that were designed to give the impression that everything was okay.
But this does nothing to help solve the problem. We need a plan of action from the Minister to get our young people back into work not just warm words.
And I invited the Minister to come to Inverclyde to work with the council to see how best we can tackle the problem of youth unemployment.