STUC conference to debate ‘persistently high’ youth unemployment rates north of the border

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The STUC has estimated that Scotland is running an underemployment rate more than twice the number of people officially unemployed.

(Pictured: STUC protest against youth unemployment, March 2012)

It also says the number of people under 24 years old out of work for six months or less has more than doubled in the last year

By adding the number of unemployed to those either underemployed, or people who are ‘economically inactive’ but who want to work, it says the full-time employment deficit in Scotland is 489,508 – a rate of 16.9%, compared to official statistics which put unemployment north of the border at 8.1%.

A detailed survey – released this morning at the start of the STUC’s annual conference – says the numbers of long-term unemployed young people have grown massively over the last four years, up by 127% – second only in the UK after Northern Ireland.

There has also been a rise of 25% in the number of women forced out of work in the last eight months.

Georgina Wardrop of the STUC Youth Committee will tell the conference in Inverness: “I do not appear on any government statistics for long term unemployment because I have managed from time to time to find short term employment, insecure and part-time.

“I am well qualified, I am not lazy and I have tried, and tried again, to secure full-time employment.

“It is time that government at all levels takes meaningful action to provide hope and avoid another lost generation.”

Georgina is a 25 year old graduate with a First Class Honours Degree.

She has applied for upwards of 40 jobs for a wide range of positions, securing only three interviews and often receiving no response at all.

From her university class of around 50 people she is aware of only one who has achieved meaningful employment.  80% of her class were young women.

The STUC says the position of women in the labour market north of the border has deteriorated to such an extent that ‘government at all levels should now adopt an approach similar to that taken in regard to youth unemployment.’

UnionNews will be reporting later from the opening day of the conference.

Check on the website and our YouTube channel for updates.


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