Glasgow's approach to youth unemployment is working

YOUTH unemployment is a huge issue for cities throughout the UK.

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It is now a year since youth unemployment hit the historic one million mark – and it's stayed there ever since.

While the Tory coalition in Westminster concentrates on its cuts agenda and the SNP in Holyrood fixates on its referendum to break up the UK, Labour is determined to ensure that government doesn't stand by and watch young lives wrecked.

From previous recessions we know the impact that a significant rise in the number of young people out of work can have.

I have consistently said that Glasgow will not suffer another "lost generation", as happened in the 1980s.

Last week I attended the first meeting of the Labour Party's Youth Jobs Taskforce alongside Labour leader Ed Milliband.

The Taskforce is an alliance of UK city leaders, along with experts from business, civil society, the trade unions and academia.

The Taskforce will use this expertise to get young people into work.

And I am proud that Glasgow's efforts to tackle youth unemployment are unmatched across the UK.

We have established the £25 million "Glasgow Guarantee". Funded entirely by the council, this provides every young person aged 16-24 with guaranteed support in the form of education, training or a job.

And through the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative Glasgow has the largest apprenticeship scheme in the UK.

It guarantees every qualifying school leaver a modern apprenticeship in the city, helping 2300 young people into apprenticeships since 2009.

And my administration has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships year on year.

Through the Commonwealth Jobs Fund, Glasgow City Council provides wage subsidies to employers who take on young unemployed Glaswegians, providing jobs for hundreds of people last year.

And to tackle the problem of graduate unemployment, the £10m Commonwealth Graduate Fund provides a wage subsidy for graduates who have been unemployed – or underemployed – for at least 13 weeks.

We are also providing specific training for 16-18-year-olds who need practical help to get into work.

What we're doing is making a difference. In the two years between August 2010 and August 2012, the rate of young people in Glasgow claiming Jobseekers Allowance fell by 4.4%.

This is a significant decrease in itself, but in comparison to similar cities in the UK, and the national average, it is even more so.

We were the only city in the UK where youth unemployment fell over this period, while the Scottish and UK averages rose significantly.

Glasgow's approach to youth unemployment is working. But we can always do more ... and we will.

Careers and Jobs

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