Renfrewshire Council

1,000 days to turn around youth employment in Renfrewshire

1000 days ago, Renfrewshire was dealing with the impact of recession and the legacy of above-average levels of youth unemployment.

But even in these very difficult economic circumstances, it shouldn't be inevitable or acceptable that a high level of youth unemployment exists in our community, so we knew we needed to do something to turn this around.

For that reason, we almost doubled the funding for Invest in Renfrewshire (to £10.5million) and sharpened the focus on its core strengths - working in partnership with local business to grow the local economy and to dramatically increase the training and jobs available to young people.

Over the last three years this investment has taken Renfrewshire from 27th place out of 32 local authorities to 4th place with a record 68.3% of young people in work (June 2015 figures). We've turned things around for young people aged 18-24, with only 1.9% looking for work - that's better than the national average.

And while this is extremely encouraging, it is my aim to eradicate long-term youth unemployment here in Renfrewshire.

It has been very encouraging to see local businesses grow and, in return, provide employment experience, work coaching, traineeships, modern apprenticeships and internships.

I urge local businesses that aren't yet involved in the programme to find out how they can invest in Renfrewshire's future by creating opportunities for our young people and helping their own enterprises to grow.