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Friday 6 July 2012

Scotland’s MSPs must defend careers service, says UNISON

UNISON is calling for an urgent meeting with local MSPs to defend the future of Scotland’s career service.

The move follows a series of cuts to careers services in the south side of Glasgow which the union says will have a detrimental impact on young unemployed people.

Last month, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) closed its Cathcart Road centre and moved to a smaller shared facility within Newlands Job Centre. The services on offer have also been cut and young people will no longer have on-site access to SDS’s online service which, in addition to offering careers guidance, allows young people to search for job vacancies.

To add insult to injury, SDS also cut the hours of its Castlemilk centre from one day a week to just half a day.

Gerry Crawley, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, said: “With youth unemployment at unprecedented levels, there is a clear need to ensure crucial face-to-face guidance is easily accessible to young people.

“Some young people now face two bus journeys just to get to the new centre, not to mention a further journey to a local library to access the online careers service. This raises concerns over accessibility and the increased financial burden on young people to access careers advice.

“We need to make getting on the career ladder as easy as possible for young people, and putting barriers in their way is not the way forward. We’re calling on MSPs to defend Scotland’s careers service and not to condemn a whole generation of young people to life on the dole queue.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The Skills Development Office in Cathcart Road offered careers advice to 150 young people in the month of May alone.

2. Young people who used the service and will be affected by the cuts are available for interview upon request. Please contact Stephen Low on 0141 342 2811.

For more information please contact:
Gerry Crawley, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, on 07958 121 805.
Derek Cheyne, UNISON’s Skills Development Branch Secretary, 07725 556 806

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