Drop in Job Seekers numbers in Western Isles

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The number of people looking for a job in the Western Isles fell to the lowest level in a year last month.

In September, 470 people claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) which is the lowest number for 2012 so far and also the lowest figure since June 2011.

Just a month before, there were 525 claimants and although this appears to be positive news, it is possible that some of those seeking work have now left the island.

At the Job Centre there were 56 unfilled vacancies which equates to more than eight people competing for every unfilled position.

Nationally the rate of youth unemployment has risen again but locally it fell. Of the 470 claiming JSA, 85 were aged between 18 and 24 which is lower than the rate for August and July when it was over 100.

Angela Constance Minister for Youth Employment said: ”One young person out of work is one too many. This is why we have made a specific commitment to ensure every 16 to 19 year old has a place in learning or training as well as delivering 25,000 modern apprenticeships.

”I want to make it as easy as possible for young people, and their parents, to find and take advantage of these opportunities which is why I asked Skills Development Scotland to set up one central point of information. I would urge any young person not in employment to get in touch with the contact centre on 0800 917 8000.

”Alongside these opportunities we will also invest an extra £15 million to work with businesses to support job opportunities for 10,000 young people, the details of which I hope to announce soon.”