The claimant count for February 2013 across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders fell by 230, 11 per cent, compared to the same time last year.
The figures follow considerable investment by the Scottish Government to improve employment opportunities for young people, including a guaranteed place in training or education for 16–19 year olds through Opportunities for All and at least 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship places every year.
The figures are broken down as follows for each local authority: Dumfries and Galloway - 125 fewer young people claiming unemployment benefit; Scottish Borders - 105 fewer young people claiming unemployment benefit.
Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance said: “The latest figures are the clearest demonstration yet that the Scottish Government’s action on youth employment is helping to support more young people into jobs. A record 89.9 per cent of our young people nationwide are rightly securing opportunities on leaving school. However, one young person not in training or employment is one too many and our work must continue. Our efforts so far have included a guaranteed offer of a place in education or training for every 16-19 year old, funding 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year and £29 million to create thousands of jobs in the third sector over three years.
“This year we will be launching a locally-based employer recruitment incentives which will offer financial support to small companies willing to give young people a job and is backed by £15 million of Scottish Government funding and by £10 million European Structural funding. Scotland’s young people are an important part of our dynamic workforce.”