Employment: Small Business Support Crucial Says Johnstone

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy committee, is urging further investment in small businesses to help drive down youth unemployment.

The number of jobless in Scotland fell by 6,000 to 194,000 between February and April this year. Youth unemployment was 6.1 per cent lower than the same period last year.

The Scottish Government has today (12 June) announced measures to support youth employment, including a £37million SME Growth Programme.

Alison said:

"It's encouraging to see this drop. But we continue to see problems in our economy where people want to do more hours to cope with the rising cost of living but can't get the work. And we continue to see small and micro businesses squeezed out of being able to bid for public contracts.

"Investment by the Scottish Government in small and medium sized businesses to take on young people is very welcome. I'd like to see more of this kind of initiative rather than the false economy of tax cuts to lure big businesses with what are usually poorly paid, insecure jobs. By growing our local economies and our small businesses we have a better chance of success."