Call for action on unemployment

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has called on the UK government to set up a taskforce to deal with soaring unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway.

In a question in the House of Commons to the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, Mr Brown highlighted the difficulties facing young people trying to get a job in Dumfries and Galloway. He called on the government to bring in a jobs taskforce to deal with the “jobs crisis”, particularly focused on helping small businesses in our region create jobs.

This follows the revelation last week that long term unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway has soared by almost 80% since January 2011.

Mr Brown said: “Dumfries and Galloway is in the grip of an unemployment crisis, and local young people are really suffering. In the past 12 months alone, more than 130 more young people are out of work. This would be tragic at any time, but coupled with cuts to education and training it is a toxic combination. All the evidence shows that if someone is out of work when they are young then they are far more likely to be out of work for long periods throughout the rest of their lives.

“The whole country is struggling with rising unemployment, but areas such as Dumfries and Galloway are being hit harder than most. Our area relies on small businesses, which are at the sharp end of the current economic hardship. The recovery of these small businesses will be at the heart of any solution to our jobs crisis. I want to see the government come forward with specific measures to help small businesses create jobs and give our young people a start in life. Creating jobs has to be the top priority for all of us, which is why I want to see the government set up a jobs taskforce in our region to work with agencies and businesses to take urgent action before it gets even worse.”