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Youth Unemployment in Scotland

Actually heard this on the radio this morning.

An analysis of official figures by the Scottish TUC also suggested the number of 18-24-year-old claimants rose by 75% on average across Scotland since 2007"

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Scots youth unemployment surges

Got to thinking about how difficult it actually is to find work in Scotland for anyone never mind the youth. See I fall into this age bracket (I'm 23) and I'm a night shift worker, stuck in a job where I'm not really contributing and not really meeting any challenges. I'm doing what I can to change this to find a more suitable job and one that suits my qualifications and my experience.

It's a bit of a pain. I have an HNC and although I've worked in maybe 3-4 different positions, I don't really have the experience for a lot of the places I'm looking at. I generally am told that whilst I was a good candidate and they'll keep my CV etc, the job actually went to someone who just had more experience.

Couldn't believe there'd been a 75% rise though. What the hell do you do to actually provide jobs for the youth?

Point them at McDonalds?
Newphew has not long left school at 16 and is looking for an apprenticeship nothing going. He's also been to see about the navy but has been told there is a 5yr waiting list dependant on the trade he would want to do. He's been told not to apply for a supermarket job as he's not 18 someting to do with insurance! Even then there were 300 forms given out for 6 jobs.

He's currently at college part time doing an intro to construction modlue which he likes but doesnt get any funding for it.

Saying that my mob is taking apprentices/trainee's on at the moment every other month just about to start the 3rd intake in a year up here
He's been told not to apply for a supermarket job as he's not 18 someting to do with insurance! Even then there were 300 forms given out for 6 jobs.

See I began work in a supermarket at 16 but there were problems with it then too. Selling/shelving alcohol, dealing with customer complaints etc. Technically you're supposed to be over 18 to do both. I had a lucky start then, this was about 7 years ago and things were easier. I filled the application in the shop café, handed it in and got the phone call that night. Began as a temp and was kept on. But I understand where they're coming from not hiring under 18s.
Scotland, no real difference to other places across the Uk, my lad is 20 & cannot find any long term employment/training, he gets by doing shifts at a care home as & when they need him.


Book Reviewer
A significant factor in youth unemployment is the skills people leave school/university with. Bottom line is employers want someone numerate and literate - so that their business shows a net benefit from taking the person on.

New Liebor was so busy dropping the pass marks for exams that they forgot that when people leave school they go out into the real (and very competitive) world. There employers want to make sure they take on people with the appropriate skills.

I work for a large software company. They give a practical test to all programmers they take on. Doesn't matter how good your paper qualifications are; you've got to sit down in front of that lap top and produce examples of good coding practice or you won't get a job offer.

And that's the problem - turn out inadequately educated people and they won't find employment. Firms (particularly in the current climate) are going for older and more skilled employees over younger ones - because the firms know they have to select the best employee to maintain their profitability.

To some extent that's where self help comes in. If you're in the 18 - 25 year old bracket, and your English/Maths skills are deficient, then brush up on them, either at night school or at home. Similarly, if you want to work in a particular market sector, start learning about it. Do anything that will give you an advantage in the recruitment process. Sit on your backside and you're going to be unemployed for a long time...

There is going to be a youth unemployment problem for many years to come - but individuals can buck that trend with some self help.



I am within this 18-25 bracket and I would of said I was save with MoD however I not anymore.

However UK going get even tougher with Coming April/May you start to see even more cuts. While End of March is when they can start making Compulsory redundancies if they wish to.

I am now pushing to get on college course or at best I applying for the army.
I am within this 18-25 bracket and I would of said I was save with MoD however I not anymore.

However UK going get even tougher with Coming April/May you start to see even more cuts. While End of March is when they can start making Compulsory redundancies if they wish to.

I am now pushing to get on college course or at best I applying for the army.

As Wordsmith said, try brushing up on your written English skills and it will stand you in good stead for whatever you try and do.

I'm not taking the piss, see if you can knock out about five paragraphs on here outlining your point in spell-checked English of a suitable standard for an internet forum that will be worth someone else's while to read.

If you can't, or can't be bothered, then it is a sign that you need to sort yourself out if you want anyone to take you seriously enough to employ.
For the youth, don't sit still.

TA, youth work, voluntary work, and get in some extra skills. If there chance of a 'gap year' experience go for it, even if there is no gap.

Make yourself employable and memorable on the cv.
Stuff Spell- Checker, every one should have basic spelling and numeracy.

Our ******* masters for the last couple of generations (that's about 16 years apart nowadays) have sold our children down the river.
The ou do help to unemployed by the way, so you can work to a useful courses in your area of interest from home (whilst doing odd jobs for your parents/money).
Was it Tebbitt who said 'Get on your bike'

And it was Brown who said "There are only 600 unemployed youths in Scotland." I was there, watching him, when he said it.

Back in the real world, there are more than 600 unemployed youths in Argyll Street on a Saturday afternoon, never mind in the whole of Scotland.
Well, following on from my first post.

I shot myself in the foot, I started at University and left half way through the year. I may have had a good opportunity but it just wasn't for me, I wasn't interested in it in the long run and I wanted to work and have the opportunity to live my life without more studying. I worked at a supermarket, worked for a manufacturing company then was an office administrator before I was laid off when the company died and I ended up here.

I was in the TA for a few years and although I benefited in terms of, say, life experience and I learned a hell of a lot, in the end I didn't come out with anything that directly benefited me in the working world. It was good and it paid so I'd recommend it to anybody but it's not easy to get in and it's not everybody's cup of tea. I understand why most folk would want to avoid the TA and if you DON'T understand, well, you're not being realistic.

Here's a new point.

Are parents really making the effort to help their kids out as they start off in the working world?

Most young folk two or three years younger than me are their arses most of the time and just apathetic about the entire thing. I worked from 16 because my mum and dad wouldn't have it any other way...if I wasn't working I'd have been papped off somewhere else.


I'm about to get my degree, and I don't see a good job market; and I'm a fecking engineer. Five years of arsing maths and other bullshite I'm still not sure if I'm I'm going to get a decent job. My friend graduated last year and he's only just got a job now. The market for anyone is very poor; epecially when compared to other countries- in Canada they have no trouble getting a job which will pay more than UK wages. Same in Australia and New Zealand. It's a poor show for everyone.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Been meaning to post on this for a while and kept forgotting!

Elder Miss Fang has just graduated with her Bdes which current qualifies her to do bar work and waitressing. Though she is making kilt pins and jewelry to commission as well.

Young Miss Fang has now left school but there's bugger all full time jobs in the Highlands available for youngsters. She currently working over 40 hours a week, it breaks down as 12 hours cleaning local golf club, ( 2hours, 6 days a week), 16 hours Tesco, (4hours 4 days a week), 14 hours child minding, (7 hours, 2 days a week) and 4 hours cleaning at local water treament plant ( 2 hours 2 days a week)

It's a real nightmare for her juggling the hours to keep everybody sweet but there's no other options for her. Plus as only 17 she doesn't even get same wages as those 18 or over even if doing the same job.
Was it Tebbitt who said 'Get on your bike'

I believe he also said a great deal about 'traditional families' and 'communities', both of which require stability. Dementia seemed to be epidemic amongst that generation of Conservatives.

We're in for a rocky ride for some time to come. More efficient businesses require fewer staff almost by definition and as the skills gap with developing countries is closed, fewer of the high-wage jobs will naturally fall into our national laps. Before you know it, it'll be us filleting fish for tuppence an hour, 14 hours a day.

Globalisation's a bitch. Maybe we'd have been better off if we'd never thought it up.


Book Reviewer
[soap box on]

One of the most stupid mistakes was turning Polytechnics into Universities. That particular insanity was started by the conservatives, then cranked up to the nth degree by labour as a sticking plaster over youth unemployment. We now have 40% - 50% of school leavers going to university and emerging with degrees of some sort or other. There are probably only 10% of jobs out there that genuinely require a degree level education.

Under the old scheme of things, the more practically minded went to polytechnics and came out with HNC's or HND's in their chosen subject. They were always destined for industry and the qualification focused on the 'nuts and bolts' of their subject. The more academically minded went to universities, studied the theory more and were as much destined for research as industry. When polytechnics morphed into universities, every HNC/HND course turned into a degree and we devalued the currency.

We should have three types of education.

Technical Schools

These should be for people who want practical skills. There will always be a demand for good car mechanics, plumbers, bricklayers, hair dressers, etc. Giving people a practical skill would probably qualify them better for life than a 'paper' degree qualification.


Bring them back to supply industry orientated HNC/HND courses. These should be people training in quality control, administering software, running accounts and payroll, etc. All the skills that make industry run efficiently and be competitive with other economies.


These should be for the people who intend to do academically rigorous courses - with priority given to the hard sciences like physicals, maths and chemistry. We should also train people in history, philosophy, etc, but have to remember these people have to be supported by a strong industrial base.

The Balance

I would consider sending people directly to the technical schools at 17. They'd leave with at 18 with a certificate showing a competence in their subject. There'd be an option to stay on till 19 and get an 'Advanced' certificate if they showed a genuine aptitude for their trade. I'd expect about 70% of school leavers to do this form of training. These are my skilled and semi-skilled workers - each with a trade to give them a good skill in life.

Everyone else would do A levels. Pass the A Levels, you can opt for polytechnic or university, fail or drop out and you go to technical school to learn a trade.

Of those that passed the A levels, I'd sent 20% to polytechnics. These are the skilled technicians and lower/middle management of my industrial base.

The remaining 10% would go to university. These are my academics and my middle or senior managers.

I'd have night schools/distance learning available for those that wanted to climb further up the academic ladder after they'd started work -a bit like the Open University does now.

I wouldn't charge for the technical schools - a good base of skilled workers is essential if we are to have a strong industrial base again. And as most won't be doing A Levels, I'd transfer the cash from that part of the education system.

I'd charge for polytechnic and university, but as an additional 3 - 5% tax on the first 10 years earnings, so that you pay back the money via the academic skills you've learned.

[/soap box off]

I agree largely with wordsmith, but I would also change the apprentice system so that there was less hiring of my drinking buddies sister's sons friend, who cannot read or write and spends his or her life drunk as a skunk and replace it with a system based on merit, send the top 5 candidates out to companies for interview and if they do not employ any of the candidates, then they have to provide a solid reason, which they can backup. Otherwise within 10 years a lot of trades are going to be stuffed full of illiterate chavs, who will nick the silver right after attempting to unblock the loo.
When I left university, I found there were little or no job opportunities so went and did some travelling and got a lot of life experience and maturity, returned to the UK and still no luck and at times a load of attitude as I came from "north of the border", in one case being told I didn't have a qualification that was needed for the position (not mentioned in the ad), when I asked which qualification, was told that the ad was for "local folk only"...what a load of twaddle. Joined HM Forces to try something different, however left due to it being discovered that I had previously unknown asthma....b****cks...
So since then, I've been trying to improve myself and doing everything I can in terms of courses and research to improve myself instead of sitting on the dole or rotting on minimum wage....however what a total and utter palaver in terms of trying to get funding....Jobcentre do their best to avoid having to give you any help (despite their website claiming they have many options in terms of job training etc....something I will be phoning their head office about...again), some of the forces charities are great but others are more interested in maintaining their shiny websites than genuinely offering help.
To be honest we need to honestly look at who we are bringing into the country and the jobs we need done, that no one here will do (fruit picking for minimum wage, while living away from home and crammed 5 to a caravan etc) or it will cost too much to train someone to do (engineer for a one of a kind system). What we need is an honest discussion and some realistic world views about working conditions, hours, pay and productivity, alongside some serious give and take regarding training of workers to fulfill vacancies....however here in the UK that will NEVER happen as it is a sane idea.
Heaven forbid we pay people based on their skills and productivity not their time, why should someone who can do twice as much work be paid the same as someone who spends the day reading farcebook and stringing out their projects until right on the deadline. Surely paying someone to complete a project is a much more sane idea....get the project done by 2pm, free to go home at 2pm..rather then twiddling your thumbs all day long.
Work better outside....if it can be done...why not?
Problem is both sides are heavily polarised in their views, but I would agree that their are many school leavers who are insanely wet behind the ears, with no clue what an iron is, let alone how to use one, couldn't clean mud off shoes let alone brush polish them and think a tracksuit is an acceptable way to dress to work. Though there are school leavers out there who "get it" and in many cases those work a damn sight harder and are more willing to try new ways of working than those who have been there since eighteen-oatcake and who actually can converse with a client without scowling or trying to sell the client something other than they have asked for.

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