Youth employment minister starts work

Angela Constance: 'More needs to be done and more will be done'.
Angela Constance: 'More needs to be done and more will be done'.

Scotland's first youth employment minister has carried out her first job in the new role.

The position was assigned to Angela Constance, after the First Minister announced it was being created to try to tackle the growing number of young Scots who are out of work.

On Wednesday Ms Constance joined Alasdair Allan, the minister for learning, to officially open a state of the art centre to train the aircraft engineers of the future.

The facility, at Ayr College, is based in an aircraft hanger style building and houses a flight simulator and plane. Ms Constance and Dr Allan toured the centre and met some of the students there.

Ms Constance had been the minister for children and young people before being handed the youth employment brief.

With 100,000 16 to 24-year-olds now out of work the post comes with £30m to be spent tackling the problem.

The youth employment minister has already announced she will host a special meeting of the National Economic Forum in January, which will bring together leading figures from business, local councils, the voluntary sector and the public sector in the interests of young people.

And while she said the Scottish Government had already put in place a number of "good initiatives" to tackle youth unemployment, she added: "More needs to be done and more will be done."

Ms Constance said: "We face great economic challenges, and I am committed to working with business, the third and public sectors, and of course young people, to ensure that the investments we have and the new initiatives we will take leave no young person behind.

"My appointment as a dedicated minister for youth employment marks the start of a new phase in tackling what is clearly a significant challenge for our economy and our country as a whole."

She also highlighted the announcement of an extra £15m for colleges, and said: "Alongside our guarantee of a place in training or education for every 16-19 year old through Opportunities for All, I am confident that we will be able to significantly improve outcomes for Scotland's young people."

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