South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has warned that Scottish Borders risk losing an entire generation to unemployment unless more action is taken.
Statistics compiled by Scottish Labour have revealed that the number of young people (16-24) who are receiving social security payments has increased exponentially across Scotland between February and May of this year.
In Scottish Borders, between February and May, the percentage of young people claiming social security rose by 81.9 per cent, from 415 in February to 755 in May. This is seven per cent of the region’s working population.
Colin Smyth is calling on the UK and Scottish Government to act now and implement a proper jobs guarantee scheme, or risk losing an entire generation to the ravages of unemployment.
The local MSP said: “These figures are shocking and show that youth unemployment in Scottish Borders and across Scotland is spiralling out of control.
“A rise locally of more than 80 per cent in just a couple of months is devastating for each and every one of those young people involved and as the UK Government furlough scheme comes to end that number is set to rise.
“It shows that not only should that scheme be extended but we urgently need a quality jobs guarantee scheme to support business to retain and take on young people.
“If that doesn’t happen we risk losing an entire generation to the ravages of unemployment. The UK and Scottish Government must act swiftly and decisively to provide a future for all of our young people.”