Worrying jobless figures

In South Ayrshire, 3,916 people were supported by Skills Development Scotland’s careers information, advice and guidance services (CIAG) in the past year.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, 897 people joined SDS’s national training programmes in South Ayrshire. This includes 586 people starting a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) and 288 new starts on SDS’s Get Ready for Work, Training for Work, Targeted Pathways and Lifeskills programmes.

The news comes as Carrick’s Labour MP Sandra Osborne expressed concern about very worrying local unemployment statistics which have been recently released.

Ms Osborne said: “I am very concerned that recent figures showed that the number of unemployed claimants in my constituency is 3,044. This means that the rate of unemployment is 7.5 per cent of the economically active population in my constituency . The MP has raised the issue of these worrying local unemployment figures on the floor of the House of Commons in a question to the Scottish Secretary.

Publication of the figures coincides with the launch of a three-year corporate strategy by SDS, Scotland’s national skills body, which will see a modernised service use the latest technology, training and labour market research to ensure more people than ever before get the right support to help them build lasting careers.

Plans include more face-to-face careers advice for those furthest from the labour market and a commitment to fund at least 75,000 more Modern Apprentices over the next three years.

Once again, SDS is looking to work with Scottish employers this year to recruit 25,000 new Modern Apprentices in a range of over 80 different occupations.