Good news on the employment front for South Ayrshire’s youth

There’s some encouraging news for young people in South Ayrshire, as figures show the number of young people aged 16-19 and not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) decreased by the biggest amount compared to the rest of Scotland, with a total fall of 3.1%.

The decrease has been noted in a publication issued by the Scottish Government, which looked at NEET figures across Scotland between November 2012 and November 2013.

South Ayrshire’s fall is the largest in Scotland and it has been welcomed by council leader Bill McIntosh who said: “This is excellent news for South Ayrshire and directly reflects our hard work to make sure all our young people have a range of choices for their future when they leave school.

“It’s incredibly encouraging and I’m delighted we are leading the way in Scotland.”

with a number of positive initiatives which have been delivering the results year after year for our school leavers.”

The Council has invested significant time and resources in recent years to ensure school leavers enter a positive destination of education, training or employment.

Last year in 2012/13, almost 93% of all South Ayrshire school leavers went on to a positive destination – the highest it has ever been and the Council is currently working hard with its partners to ensure that a similar level of success is achieved with current and future school leavers.

Councillor McIntosh continued: “All unemployed people aged 16-19 benefit from the right to an offer of positive learning through the Government’s ‘Opportunities for All’ initiative and we’re keen to offer all possible support to young people in South Ayrshire.

“We’ve been working with Skills Development Scotland, Jobcentre Plus, Ayrshire College and Access to Employment to track young people, share information and make appropriate offers to them, supported by the youth employment hubs which operate in Ayr, Troon, Maybole and Girvan.

“Through our Skills Towards Employment Programme (STEP) we offer a range of employability programmes to young people.

“Our AMBITION programme has used council funding as well as funding from the Youth Employment Scotland programme to support local business to recruit over 250 unemployed young people with wage incentives.

“We have also supported 57 young people with barriers to employment through a paid work experience programme with opportunities in a range of council departments and we’ve welcomed more than 80 young people to the Council through the Modern Apprenticeship programme, as well as offering a new graduate internship initiative, helping young graduates to develop skills and experience to move into employment.

“South Ayrshire is committed to youth employment, skills development and training and I look forward to building on these excellent figures to make sure even more young people secure positive destinations once they leave school.”