We can help young people into work

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I write in relation to the latest statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) concerning youth unemployment (your report, 17 April).

Overall total employment in Scotland is at its highest since records began with 2.575 million people over 16 now in work.

However, it is concerning to see unemployment amongst 16-24-year-olds rising in Scotland, especially as these latest figures show a 7 per cent increase on last year.

There is little doubt that our young people were amongst the hardest hit by the economic downturn and they continue to be at a disadvantage during our fragile recovery as jobs and opportunities remain few.

While we are beginning to see a slight improvement, there is obviously still much to do to help get Scotland’s young people on the path to work.

By investing time and effort in our young people, on both personal and political levels, it will pay dividends in the future.

We must continue to unlock the talent in this generation and equip our young people with all of the confidence and the skills that they need if they are going to succeed.

The Boys’ Brigade is committed to reaching as many young people as possible and showing them how to utilise their strengths and interests to their advantage and make sure they are able to seize opportunities that may arise, whether it’s paid work or volunteering.

The latest unemployment figures show us that much more work remains to be done before Scotland can reap the rewards of an engaged and employed youth.

Bill Stevenson

The Boys’ Brigade

Carronvale Road

Larbert

Ruth Davidson and the Conservatives have highlighted the educational disparities between affluent and poor communities and call for an educational overhaul to tackle the low achievements of the poorer members of our society.

Ms Davidson needs to know that Scotland need take no lectures from the Scottish Conservatives regarding the gap between rich and poor.

But in light of her recognition that poverty can affect educational achievements, she would do well to take her message to her colleagues in Westminster as they continue their savage welfare reforms, plunging many families in Scotland into poverty and so making educational achievement much more difficult for those unfortunate enough to be experiencing this poverty.

Catriona C Clark

Hawthorn Drive

Falkirk