16 Feb 2012
Darling: Employability projects can really help in Edinburgh
Alistair told us "Youth unemployment is a growing problem in Edinburgh. The Council could do more to help alleviate the problems being faced by those leaving school and trying to enter the jobs market. By further increasing the funding for employability projects, local unemployment could be lowered, benefits costs reduced, and we would go some way in tackling the worryingly high levels of child poverty in the city."
As Edinburgh Labour's Economic Development spokesperson Norma Hart wrote earlier this week, our draft manifesto Moving Edinburgh Forward - Together promises to help a growing number of young people without jobs into apprenticeships by increasing the amount we spend on Employability Services to £2.5m - more than any other party proposed in their budget.
We're proposing to increase spending on the Edinburgh Guarantee, the council’s own apprenticeship scheme, and also to look at how we can help local businesses take on apprentices by lowering their business rates.
As Edinburgh Labour Group Leader Andrew Burns noted on his blog last night, Edinburgh now has nearly 12,000 people on the claimant count, a figure which has more than doubled in the last 5 years.
It's true that the current SNP/Lib Dem council has recently taken some steps to improve employability funding, and we warmly welcome that. We think more can be done, and as ever we're open to co-operative working with other parties, now and in the future, to help tackle the core problems of employability in our city.