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South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine today welcomed figures showing a drop of over a quarter in the number of 16-19 year olds claiming Job Seekers Allowance between last year and this year in Scotland.
The picture from the figures (comparing between September 2012 and September 2013) is reflected nationwide with not one rise in the number of 16-19 year old claimants in any one of Scotland’s 32 local authority council areas.
These new figures complement last month’s youth employment rates for Scotland which continue to be the highest of all nations in the UK with the employment rate amongst 16-24 year olds increasing by 1.0 percentage points over the past year and the unemployment rate falling by 1.4 percentage points.
Dumfries and Galloway experienced a drop of 75 16-19 year-olds claiming JSA over the same period, representing a 22.73% reduction. Ms McAlpine welcomed these figures both nationally and locally.
Ms McAlpine said:
“These positive figures highlight the significant progress being made in Scotland in terms of getting young people into work. While times remain challenging and there is absolutely no room for complacency a drop in the number of 16-19 year old claimants of JSA by over 25% is a strong indication of progress.
“The fact that not one out of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas has experienced a negative change highlights the universal commitment of the Scottish Government.
“It is also a testament to the determination of Scotland’s young people; the findings highlight the fact that if you give young people in Scotland a chance – they will grasp it.
“Scotland continues to outperform the UK as a whole in the critical area of youth employment. It is clear that having the first ever dedicated Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance – who has delivered measures like the Opportunities for All that guarantees a place in work, training or education for young people who need it – is getting Scotland’s young people working again.”