Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has called on the Scottish and UK governments to take a leaf out of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s book when it comes to tackling the regions youth unemployment crisis.
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 410 (3.7%) in April 2015. This is higher than the Scottish average of 3.5% and significantly higher than the UK average of 2.8%.
Dumfries & Galloway Council have recently unveiled their regional economic strategy and aim to have the highest youth employment rate in Scotland by 2020.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“In the face of lack of government action, I congratulate Dumfries & Galloway Council for taking the lead in tackling the regions youth unemployment problems. It is clear to me that the only way to reverse the high trend is a joint effort from both the public and private sector. We need a strong and flexible economic strategy, focussed on helping small businesses who have become the backbone of our region. Only then can we get our young people back to work – by growing from the bottom up, not the top down. But the Council can’t achieve this ambitious target on their own. The Scottish and UK governments need to follow the Council’s lead in this strategy, and realise there is a specific problem with youth unemployment in this region that will only be addressed by all three bodies working together.”