Figures just released to Parliament show that the Government’s New Deal programme for the young unemployed has moved 174 young people in Edinburgh East and Musselburgh off benefit and into sustained employment.
Local MP Gavin Strang today welcomed the figures and said that steps were being taken to increase still further the New Deal’s preparation of young people to met employers’ needs.
Gavin Strang said:
‘The Labour Government has been waging war on youth unemployment and New Deal has been at the heart of that crusade.
‘The number of people aged 18-24 who are out of work and claiming benefit for 6 months or more has fallen by 52% in East Edinburgh and Musselburgh in the last two years.
‘Nationally, 210,000 young people have moved off welfare and into work through New Deal. This is a major achievement but the Government is determined to press on towards the eradication of long-term youth unemployment.
‘By contrast, the Tories would scrap New Deal and with it the hopes of thousands of young people.
‘Starting this month, all participants in the New Deal for Young People will benefit from an intensified introductory stage to the programme. The new
‘Gateway’ will involve more contact with Employment Service advisers and will focus on intensive job-search and on qualities like punctuality, team-working and communication – the skills employers are increasingly looking for when they recruit.
‘The Government has put an unprecedented programme of support in place and we have record levels of vacancies all over the country. It is now the responsibility of every young person to seize the opportunities on offer and help us build on the success already achieved.’