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Youth Unemployment

Volume 538: debated on Wednesday 11 January 2012

Order. I apologise for interrupting the Secretary of State, but we are discussing youth unemployment in Scotland, a very important matter, and I want to hear his answer.

The Government have committed £1 billion over the next three years to implement the youth contract. Our package of support includes wage incentives for employers to recruit 18 to 24-year-olds from the Work programme and increased work experience opportunities for that age group. Other support is also available.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. He is well aware of the rising levels of youth unemployment in North Ayrshire and I know that he has received strong representations about it from all the Ayrshire MPs. What more does he think that this Government can do at Westminster to increase public and private investment in North Ayrshire?

I acknowledge the work that the hon. Lady has done and the fact that we recently met to discuss this very serious issue. It is important that the youth contract, which my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister visited Scotland to discuss on Friday, is taken advantage of by people across the country. I look forward to coming to the hon. Lady’s constituency in the near future to meet those very people so that we can discuss how to implement it most effectively.