12 June 2013
Almost £90 million is to be invested in helping Scotland's young
people into work and supporting small business growth, as part of
record funding bringing together cash from the Scottish Government,
local councils, Cosla, the European Commission and employers.
Up to 10,000 young people Scotland-wide are expected to be
supported into work - particularly in small businesses - thanks to
the £87.85 million total investment package detailed today by First
Minister Alex Salmond. An additional 3,000 jobs are expected to be
created in small business around the country for workers of all
In all, the investment package is comprised of two different
Details were unveiled by First Minister Alex Salmond this
morning at Millar Callaghan Engineering in Irvine.
Mr Salmond said:
"No government across these islands has ever shown such commitment
to ensuring young people are able to build their skills, develop
real job experience and find tangible employment as this
administration. This work continues to reap rewards, with figures
released today showing youth employment rising and youth
"Since Angela Constance was appointed as Minister for Youth
Employment in December 2011 youth unemployment has fallen from 25.4
per cent to 15.2 per cent. Now Scotland has one of the lowest youth
unemployment rates in Europe. However, there is not a shred of
complacency in our approach.
"We know that Scottish progress is threatened by Westminster
austerity and Chancellor Osborne's failure to back economic growth.
Therefore, this substantial announcement illustrates our
determination for further success in a Team Scotland drive against
"Today's announcement of a further £88 million investment
represents an enormous contribution to furthering that cause. Up to
10,000 young people will get real jobs thanks to this money -
10,000 young people getting the chance to build themselves real
futures with real careers. That's in addition to a further 3,000
jobs for people of all ages working in Scotland's small business
"Thanks to working together with employers, councils, Cosla and
public agencies, we'll be able to build considerably on the £25
million of European structural funds earmarked last year to promote
youth jobs - more than tripling the original sum.
"These two programmes will help more small and medium sized
businesses recruit young people and build capacity for economic
growth. The total investment available is unprecedented in its
ambition and will make sure employers have the right help in place
to take on more young staff and grow their business.
"We already know employers are willing. Here at Millar Callaghan,
as at many workplaces around the country, young staff are being
taken on, learning new skills and in turn helping bring in new
business. We want all small companies to take advantage of the
support available to make young people their business and, in turn,
to grow their business.
"Our partnership approach was exemplified by the Employment Summit
held with the STUC and our partners last year. However, cooperation
on this cause is not just for government and social partners. It is
the responsibility of every adult Scot, in our national endeavour
to defeat youth unemployment."
Also speaking at the launch event in Ayrshire were Cosla President
Councillor David O'Neill and representatives of the Ayrshire Youth
Employment Service, which has been successful in its bid for £4
million Youth Employment Scotland funding to create 1250 jobs
across North, South and East Ayrshire.
COSLA President Councillor David O'Neill said: "Scotland's
Councils know that unemployment at a young age can have both
dramatic and lifelong repercussions. We have invested significant
local resource and effort into giving our young people the utmost
support as they make the transition into the world of work. The
Youth Employment Scotland Fund will add to this investment and
allow us to deliver even more over the next year.
"All of Scotland's local authorities have been successful in their
bids for the Youth Employment Scotland fund and will be focused on
delivering the maximum possible for our young people."
Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Councillor Willie Gibson, said:
"North Ayrshire Council is committed to getting more young people
into work, which is reflected in our Youth Employment Strategy and
the ambitious target of increasing youth employment in the area to
above the national average by 2020.
"We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to the Youth
Employment Scotland Fund, which will help us on the path to
achieving this goal, by enabling us to grow and enhance our
existing employment schemes and ensure more young people reach
their full potential."
A spokesman for László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social
Affairs and Inclusion from the European Commission said: "The
European Commission welcomes the package of measures launched by
the Scottish Government, in particular the employer recruitment
"The initiative supports small and medium enterprises to prevent
jobless young people from becoming long-term unemployed and
providing employment opportunities for youngsters across Scotland,
aged 16-24, who encounter difficulty in obtaining employment. These
measures are supported by the European Social Fund."
European Commission Spokesperson for Regional Policy, Shirin
Wheeler, commented: "The European Regional Development Fund is
providing a series of targeted investments in Scottish SMEs,
enabling them to become more competitive - to realise their growth
potential and to create sustainable jobs. We are actively improving
business connectivity and access to finance."
Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA's Spokesperson for Development,
Economy and Sustainability said: "The Business Gateway service
delivered by local government and its partners already provides
support to Scotland's existing businesses helping them to grow and
create employment opportunities. This enterprising combination of
funds and support will help Business Gateway add even more value to
Scotland's economy whilst assisting Scotland's young people gain
the skills necessary for a fulfilling career."
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said:
"We welcome this additional funding which will support our
indigenous business base to create 500 new and sustainable job
opportunities for our young people.
"We have a skilled and ambitious labour pool in East Ayrshire and
our Economic Development team will work closely with businesses to
ensure we maximise the positive outcomes from this investment for
both businesses and individuals."
Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder
for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, said: "Youth
employment is a very important element in helping boost the
Ayrshire economy and this funding will play a major role in helping
250 young people in South Ayrshire into sustainable, private sector
jobs over the next year.
"But it's about more than just a job - it's about creating a
positive and productive environment for our young people to learn,
grow and reach their potential and have the bright future they
deserve. This is an ambitious approach to getting young people into
work in South Ayrshire and we're determined to make it a success.
We'll be complementing this with additional funding from the
Council to further enhance employment opportunities for young
people and ensure both our young people and our local businesses
get the support they need to grow and show that Ayrshire is well
and truly open for business."
Source: Scottish Government