Businesses sign up to help youth unemployed

UNEMPLOYED young people in East Renfrewshire are set to benefit from a new work experience scheme.

The Our Community initiative calls on local businesses to offer voluntary work placements, and was launched this week by Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh and East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy.

Mr Murphy told The Extra: “Many young people in East Renfrewshire tell me that one of the main problems when struggling to find work is that they cannot get the necessary experience.

“On the other hand, many employers say that they prefer their prospective employees to have more work experience. This leads to a vicious cycle — young people can’t get a job because they don’t have any experience and they can’t get any experience because they can’t get a job.

“This initiative will hopefully help to provide work experience for many in the local area.”

James Gray Recruitment is one of 20 local business taking part in the scheme.

Owner Richard Samuels said: “Most people leave school with no idea what to do. We are glad we can give some youngsters in the area a chance to try out a job.

“Hopefully with this opportunity they will be able to gain experience and enhance their CV, which will drastically improve their career prospects.”

Unlike other projects, the placements are entirely voluntary on both sides, and the campaign is aimed at “volunteers, not conscripts” according to Mr Murphy.

A wide variety of businesses are taking part, including restaurants, bars, offices, accountancy firms and even a horseriding centre.

At present, there are 250 unemployed people between the age of 18 and 24 in East Renfrewshire.

Ken Macintosh added: “Just when they should be starting out on their working life, one in six remains unemployed.

“This scheme offers those young people support, experience and hope.”