May 27 2009 by Jackie Grant, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
THE NUMBER of unemployed young people across Dumfries and Galloway has rocketed in the last year.
One thousand 18-24 year-olds were claiming Jobseekers Allowance of £50.95p per week this April compared to just 625 in April 2008.
And the Prince’s Trust is warning that the figure could continue to rise with young people from deprived areas hit hardest.
Geraldine Gammell, Director for The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, said: “The statistics show that this economic downturn is having the greatest impact on young people trapped by persistent disadvantage. We must pull together to avoid the long term consequences of another lost generation in Scotland.
“With a 50 per cent increase in demand for our services, we know that this is a generation which is willing and actively seeking routes into employment. Local and national government are building economic recovery plans, but more is needed to help those vulnerable groups of young people in Scotland.”
And according to a survey by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, nearly half of all firms will not be looking to hire graduates or school-leavers in the months ahead.
More than 37,000 18 to 24 year-olds currently claim Jobseekers Allowance across Scotland alone, costing the state £1,890,245 per week.
Youth unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway is costing nearly £51,000 per week.
However, the good news is that although the number of unemployed is higher than this time last year, numbers have actually fallen in the last two months. In January 2009, there were 940 claimants, 1,065 in February and 1,040 in March.
This is despite a number of high profile job losses around the region in recent months including 121 people being made redundant at Kirkcudbright Creamery, Young’s Seafood in Annan reducing its workforce from 240 to 25 and JJB Sports and Woolworths in Dumfries closing down.