Bringing further powers to local communities could be the answer to tackling the regions youth unemployment crisis. That’s the message from Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray.
This comes after recent figures show the regions youth unemployment levels remain well above the national average.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count for young people aged 18-24 in Dumfries & Galloway was 385 (3.5%) in May 2015. This is higher than the Scottish average of 3.3% and significantly higher than the UK average of 2.6%.
Elaine Murray MSP supports the devolution of the Work Programme to local authorities, to help young people in Dumfries & Galloway into work.
The Work Programme is a government welfare-to-work programme. Under the programme, the task of getting the long-term unemployed into work is outsourced to a range of public sector, private sector and third sector organisations.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“The devolution of the Work Programme to Dumfries & Galloway could be the answer to tackling the region’s youth unemployment crisis. It would allow us to do things differently in this area – a real job creating power that can meet our local economic needs. At the moment, too many of the schemes are based on what works in big cities, and not rural regions like ours. It is for this reason, and lack of government investment, that youth unemployment levels in Dumfries & Galloway are so worryingly high. It is now more important than ever that local communities have the powers to help our young people into work.”