Online service failing youngsters says MSP

MSP John Pentland has claimed that a new online careers service is failing young people in his Motherwell and Wishaw constituency.

Mr Pentland said that only one in seven school pupils in North Lanarkshire have signed up to the Scottish Government’s new ‘My World of Work’ initiative after the government agency Skills Development Scotland moved from face-to-face advice services to web-based provision as part of a cost cutting exercise.

And he said that locally accessible services should be restored to combat rising and sustained youth unemployment in the area.

He said: “The fact that only 14 per cent of secondary pupils in North Lanarkshire are currently registered on ‘My World of Work” is truly shocking.

“We need careers officers working with our young people in schools, careers offices and in the community - not simply referring them to a website.

“I believe that parents will be rightly angry to find out that their son or daughter is not getting the support they need to make the right choices for their future.

“In my Motherwell and Wishaw constituency there are more than 3,000 unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds.

“Young people need help to make the right choices about their future, to get qualifications, to acquire skills and to apply for jobs.

“Careers advice should be easily accessible for all, which means somewhere central where people can go and speak face-to-face with an adviser.”

Mr Pentland said he had approached North Lanarkshire Council to see whether it could identify suitable premises in Motherwell or Wishaw town centre.

He said: “I am pleased to say that that the careers service is now lined up to occupy part of the one-stop-shop in Motherwell.

“Of course, that victory for common sense is only part of what needs to be done.

“For many young people, the system is failing to provide support.”

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