Careers Advice should be more readily available to all young people, says Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland.
Following a visit to his constituency’s local careers office in Motherwell College, John is calling for the service to have a High Street presence.
“Youth unemployment is a huge problem at the moment, and it is getting worse. Young people need all the help they can get to make the right choices about their futures, getting qualifications, acquiring skills, and applying for jobs.
“The current location is handy for those who know it’s there, but it is a bit out of the way for other young people, and I have spoken to constituents who didn’t know where to go. Skills Development Scotland seems keen on getting people to use their online resources, but that doesn’t suit everybody and to some it is more of a barrier than a help.
“Their My World of Work website has one phone number on the contact page, but that is a helpline for using the website, not careers advice. Searching the site for Motherwell or Wishaw returns a couple of courses at the college, but no link to the local careers advice office. That is not very helpful.
“I think that the Careers Office should be easily accessible for all, and that means somewhere central where people can go and speak face to face with an advisor.
“The staff who I spoke with appreciated these concerns, and I now plan to approach the council to see if they can help to identify suitable premises in either Motherwell or Wishaw town centre.”
The most recently published figures show youth unemployment in Scotland (16-24 year olds) is now 103,000, a rise of 27,000 on a year ago, with the total claimant count for Scotland being 151,896 (a rise of 18,000 on last year), of which 3,169 people were in the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency.