COUNCIL chiefs have pledged to plough more money into helping young people into jobs or training.
Next year’s proposed budget includes an extra £1 million for the Edinburgh Guarantee, which aims to give paid internships to the 300 to 400 school-leavers who would otherwise go straight into unemployment each year, and £800,000 in grants for employability services, targeting groups who face extra barriers to finding work.
Economic development convener Frank Ross said the cash followed similar one-off allocations last year.
He said: “Following the launch of our Strategy for Jobs, we have decided we need to continue to invest in this, especially as we are starting to see some impact.”
He said the number of school leavers going into jobs, training or further education was on the increase.
“It’s still slightly below the Scottish average but we’re heading in the right direction and that’s why it’s important we continue this investment.”
He also announced the council was teaming up with online recruitment platform Recruitwork to offer a dedicated portal for the city’s school leavers.
All vacancies and opportunities available through the Edinburgh Guarantee will now be published free on the website, which matches young people to employers and their vacancies.
Young people will get access to the site while still at school, and be able to upload their CVs.
The service is beginning by advertising 12 six-month paid internships with NHS Lothian.
Cllr Ross said: “If we can get school leavers or those about to leave school to look at these portals in advance, it could help in getting them into employment. It’s absolutely critical the first step they have into the outside world beyond education is a positive one.
“The vast majority of these people have something to offer society. It is our responsibility to make sure they have the opportunity to make that contribution.
“The general unemployment level is lower in Edinburgh than elsewhere, but youth unemployment is an area we need to address. We are coming from a very strong base in Edinburgh and our job is to maximise it.”
The budget is to be approved by full council on Thursday.
NEW BUSINESS MUST TAKE OFF
THE city council will do all it can to help Edinburgh Airport win new business for the Capital, economic development convener Frank Ross has vowed.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar announced last month he was using a £15 million development fund as an incentive to persuade airlines to launch new services.
Cllr Ross said: “We have very close relations with the airport and we’re very pleased to see their £15m warchest and we are talking to them to see how we can use our inward investment services to complement that.
“The more routes he brings into Edinburgh airport the more visitors will come and stay
in the city.”
RELOCATION, RELOCATION …
A NEW fund could use £7.5 million of council cash to create a £30m pot to help businesses move to the Capital.
The strategic investment fund, designed to encourage companies to take up office space, will seek to “lever in” contributions from the private sector, the European Union and organisations such as Scottish Enterprise.
Cllr Frank Ross said: “It will never be a hand-out. It will be used as an investment in such a way as we get it back and get more than one hit for our pound.”