Youth employment rising

Official statistics released today by the ONS, covering the period May to July 2015, show that youth employment levels in Scotland increased by 25,000 over the year to reach its highest level for this time of year since 2005.

With Scotland’s youth unemployment level also falling to its lowest level for this time of year since 2008, Scotland has a higher youth employment rate and a lower youth unemployment rate than the UK.

While the number of people unemployed in Scotland stayed the same over the quarter, it rose by 10,000 in the UK.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the figures at the launch of the Report of the Ministerial Group on Offender Reintegration in Glasgow.

She was speaking alongside Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and highlighted employment as a key means to reducing reoffending. She said:

“I am particularly pleased to see improvements in youth employment figures in the same week that the Scottish Government has given Scotland’s local authorities an additional £5.8 million to deliver a range of activity to support more young people into jobs.

“This is further evidence that the road Scotland has taken, to bring schools, college and employers together, is the right one. I expect to see further progress in the coming months as we push for a 40 per cent reduction in youth unemployment by 2021.

“However, while the overall economic picture remains generally very positive, particularly when compared to where we were at the peak of the recession, there remains work to be done.

“We must maintain momentum and ensure that every power at our disposal is used to grow the economy, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the jobs market.

“We are currently consulting on how employability services for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment will look after these powers are devolved to Scotland in 2017. This is a real opportunity to design a service that is tailored to the needs of Scots looking for work and I would urge everyone to have their say.”

Ms Cunningham also welcomed the report on offender reintegration and added:

“This week we have also extended funding for this year’s Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) to include young people with convictions aged 25 to 29 to take up opportunities for up to 12 months. CJS helps vulnerable people, including offenders, overcome barriers to employment and provides real work experience in a more supportive environment, further boosting Scotland’s economic growth.”