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Council On Track To Tackle Youth Unemployment

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Council bosses in Renfrewshire have welcomed an “extremely productive” meeting with the leader of Scotland’s national skills body as the council takes forward a wide-ranging programme to tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, met Damien Yeates, chief executive of Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) at a youth employment hub in Paisley.

Councillor Macmillan updated Mr Yeates on the £2.5million Invest in Renfrewshire which is supporting regeneration and tackling unemployment among 18 to 24 year olds.

There was also discussion about SDS and the council working closely together to continue to deliver Modern Apprenticeships in Renfrewshire.

SDS will also be represented at FuturesFest in Paisley Town hall on August 22 where young people aged 16-24 can get advice and information on training, education and employment.

Councillor Macmillan said: “I was delighted to welcome Damien Yeates to Renfrewshire to tell him about our plans to tackle youth unemployment. We had an extremely productive meeting with positive feedback about our approach and our accompanying stimulus programme for local business.

“One of the first acts of the new Renfrewshire Council was to appoint a new Convener of the Employment and Economic Development Task Force to co-ordinate an integrated approach to boost employability and economic growth.

“In the current economic climate we are making a significant level of support available. We want to focus on not only working with businesses to help stimulate a local demand for jobs, but also to make sure young people are ‘job ready’ and that’s a key focus of the new youth employability hub which is a one door approach to helping young people.

“We’re always looking for ways to develop our approach and our meeting with Skills Development Scotland is part of that. One of the points raised was that a stronger emphasis on generating career awareness in our schools is important – not only for pupils but also feeding this back to their parents too.

“Renfrewshire Council is already building on this with £170,000 set aside specifically for employability support in schools, with a view to increasing work experience opportunities and promoting the use of SVQs in high schools as a subject option in S4–S6.