Scottish Government
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£110 million youth funding

Call for earlier intervention to address youth unemployment.

Planned investment for South West Scotland could support thousands of young people towards jobs.

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance will highlight that the area qualifies for an allocation from the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative as part of a parliamentary debate today (March 19).

An initial European investment of £37 million will be match funded by European Social Funds and project partners bringing total funds to £110 million over two years.

Ms Constance will also press Westminster to adopt the European Youth Guarantee to ensure faster intervention with unemployed young people in order to help them into work.

She said:

“I am very pleased to take the issue of the European Youth Guarantee, an EU-wide measure to ensure the earliest possible intervention with unemployed young women and men, to the Scottish Parliament. Stepping in before four months of unemployment would maximise the chances of supporting our 16 to 24 year olds towards work while they are still fresh out of education, training or their previous employment.

“I have urged the UK government on several occasions to properly consider the benefits of scheme but have so far been frustrated by their failure to fully endorse it. Were Scotland to have the full levers of independence, including our own welfare system and the freedom to fully implement the Youth Guarantee, we could create even more opportunities to support young people into employment.

“The Youth Guarantee is being underpinned by the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative with match funding set to see the South West of Scotland, which includes Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire benefit from £110 million investment.

“These areas have faced long standing challenges with levels of youth unemployment, so European funding will make a considerable difference and support thousands of young women and men towards employment. This will build on the Scottish Government’s own actions including our unique guarantee of an offer of a place in training or education for all 16 to 19 year olds and 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeships every year.”

Notes to editors

South West Scotland covers Glasgow, North and South Lanarkshire, West and East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North, East and South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

In order to tackle the very high levels of youth unemployment throughout Europe, the European Commission adopted the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) at the end of last year. This initiative is an additional amount of funding allocated to regions across the EU where the unemployment rate for young people is above 25 per cent. South West Scotland will qualify for the additional Youth Employment monies.

The funds will be dedicated entirely to directly supporting individuals between the ages of 15–29 who are currently inactive or at risk of not accessing education, employment or training.

The expected allocation of £37 million has to be matched further by funds from Scotland’s mainstream European Social Funds and matched again by project partners, giving a total budget of approx. £110 million. The budget must be committed (as opposed to spent) within the first two years ( i.e 2014 and 2015) and will be limited to direct spend on individuals for example, training places, wage subsidies etc. This could include pilots based on the recommendations made by the Wood Commission on how we could improve vocational skills and the work-readiness of young people, but only to the extent that those interventions can be linked to the support of individuals.

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