Is area about to lose half its young folk?

Could Dumfries and Galloway be heading for a showdown if, as reports suggest, more young people are looking to leave the area?
Could Dumfries and Galloway be heading for a showdown if, as reports suggest, more young people are looking to leave the area?

A study of young people in south west Scotland has been branded a “warning shot” to both council and employers.

More than 10,000 people took part in the survey in Dumfries and Galloway, carried out as part of the Year of Young People in 2018.

It found that 55 per cent of those questioned said they intended to leave the region in the future.

Councillor Adam Wilson said the outcome of the 10,000 Voices consultation was a real concern.

“I think there is a warning shot because if a number of young people leave and do not come back we will see a number of crises across our region,” he said.

Mr Wilson said they needed to do more to make the region attractive for young people

He said that, at the moment, there were recruitment problems in the public sector and private firms were also struggling to hire people.

“We are going to have a huge demand on social care over the next decade and beyond,” he added.

“If we do not keep our young people here, or attract young people to stay here and to grow their families and to work, we are going to face these difficulties.

“We have that warning shot today and we can start to take meaningful action to address that.”

Mr Wilson said it was important officials acted on the findings of the report.

He said a whole range of bodies - including the planned new enterprise agency - needed to be involved.

“There are a lot of ways in which we can try to grow our economy but make sure that we deliver for our young people,” he said.

Mr Wilson said that included looking at the likes of public transport and leisure facilities.

He asked: “How can we make our region a much better and more attractive place to live?