Cumbernauld's MSP welcomes Community Job Scotland figures
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 18:25 GMT on Tuesday 5th March, 2013.
Town's MSP, Jamie Hepburn.

CUMBERNAULD’S local MSP has hailed new Government figures which North Lanarkshire second on job starts through the flagship Community Job Scotland project.

Further to the Scottish Government’s announcement that they have pledged £6.3 million to Community Jobs Scotland, thus ensuring that the scheme is extended, Jamie Hepburn SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has welcomed the latest figures.

Presented by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the statistics have revealed that North Lanarkshire has the second highest rate of confirmed job starts through Community Job Scotland across Scotland.

Across the North Lanarkshire local authority area there have been 265 young people supported into jobs through Community Jobs Scotland, a figure which is expected to continue to rise with the announcement of the further funding pledge from the Scottish Government.  To date there have been 2765 confirmed job starts throughout Scotland, ensuring that young people are put at the forefront of opportunity and employment.

The £6.3 million committed by the Scottish Government which will extend Community Job Scotland and ensure that increasing numbers of young people are able to secure employment, is also over and above the initial £8.5 million investment for 2012/13.

Commenting Mr Hepburn said: “These figures are clearly to be welcomed and show that there is hope for young people in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and across the North Lanarkshire area as a whole that they can and will secure employment.

“I am acutely aware from speaking to my own constituents in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth who difficult it is for many young people in the area to get a job, with this additional funding from the Scottish Government to Community Job Scotland, I trust that many more young people will be helped through this difficult time and into employment.

“It is also important in these tough times to ensure that we are assisting the most vulnerable members of our society.  This is why the Scottish Government have pledged that £550,000 will be invested this year for 100 job opportunities for young people with disabilities and long term illnesses.  I fully support this and I am sure that the people of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and across North Lanarkshire as a whole will too.”

Now though, hundreds more young people will be supported into jobs with a £5.75 million funding boost,  for 2013/14, to support up to 1,000 young people into employment with 10 per cent of the budget ring fenced for those with disabilities and long term illnesses.

A further £550,000 will be invested this year for 100 job opportunities for young people with disabilities and long term illnesses. This is over and above the initial £8.5 million investment for 2012/13.

The eligibility age range of vulnerable young people will also be extended up to 24, having previously been 16 to 19.

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance said: “Community Jobs Scotland has played a pivotal role in delivering Opportunities for All, our unique guarantee of an offer of a place in training or education for 16 to 19 year olds. Extending the programme for another year will help hundreds more improve their life chances through finding jobs.

“The time is also right for those involved with Community Jobs Scotland to ensure our most vulnerable young people aged up to 24 can benefit from their expertise. Furthermore, a ring fenced budget for those with disabilities and long term illnesses will help address the particular barriers they have accessing the labour market.

“In 2013, the Scottish Government will be stepping up its commitment to supporting young people into employment. As well as Opportunities for All, we are already committed to at least 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships in every year of this Parliament and we will shortly launch a new Employer Recruitment Initiative to aid small and medium businesses that want to take on more young people. I would urge employers in Scotland, big or small, to make young people their business in 2013.”

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