Apprentice Electricians in Paisley

Youth unemployment leads Renfrewshire to be branded a “hotspot” A DEPRESSING new report has claimed that Renfrewshire is one of the UK’s “hotspots” for youth unemployment. The study identifies Renfrewshire Paisley as one of 152 local authority areas where the proportion of young people claiming Jobseekers Allowance is more than double the national average. More than 12.5 per cent of young people in Paisley are claiming unemployment benefits, and are either out of work or full-time education or training. The findings come only weeks after statistics emerged showing there are eight people chasing any one vacancy in the area. This latest report was compiled by the Commission on Youth Unemployment, part of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo). Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Douglas Alexander said: “Worryingly, this report is further confirmation of what we already know. “Local young people in paisley and renfrewshire want to work, contribute to their community and be part of the local workforce but the opportunities are not available to them.” Last month, the Labour politician called for more government action to get young people back in work and bring more investment and jobs to our local area. He also pointed out the number of local young people in Paisley and renfrewshire aged 18 to 24 who had been unemployed for over six months had risen by 41.7 per cent. Mr Alexander said: “We cannot continue like this – local people deserve better. “I recently visited the local Kibbleworks centre in Paisley to see the work they are doing to provide training and employment opportunities for local young people who are in care or preparing to leave care. “That’s the kind of approach that can make a real difference but the Government doesn’t seem to understand that, without work, it won’t work. “I urge the Government both in Westminster and Holyrood to strongly consider recommendations such as the part-time job guarantee for people who have been on the work programme for more than a year and the provision of localised education-to-career support for the non-university applicants who are fast becoming forgotten. “We need action now to prevent a generation of local young people here in paisley and Renfrewshire being left on the scrapheap.” Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance, however, claimed the Scottish Government are “determined to tackle this national challenge with a national response”. She said: “I have been appointed as the first Youth Employment Minister anywhere in the UK to see that commitment through, backed up with an additional £30million investment which will go towards Opportunities for All, our guarantee of a place in education or training for every 16 to 19-year-old. “As well as guaranteeing 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship opportunities in every year of this Parliament, prioritising young people within colleges and working with local authorities on Activity Agreements for those, we are working closely with the UK government on implementing those elements of their youth contract relevant to Scotland.”

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