Central Scotland MSP John Wilson has called upon North Lanarkshire Council to raise the educational attainment of those living in North Lanarkshire in light of the local labour market statistics published by the Scottish Government.

John Wilson MSP has hit out at North Lanarkshire Council after the Local Area Labour Markets in Scotland Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2010, highlighted that North Lanarkshire is the second highest Local Authority area with the highest proportion (20.1%) of 16-64 year olds with no qualifications.

North Lanarkshire is also shown to have the second highest unemployment rate of all Local Authority areas throughout Scotland, suggesting a strong link between educational qualifications and unemployment rates in the area.

The Local Area Labour Markets report points out that educational qualifications have a major impact on the likelihood of having a job, noting that less than half (42.5%) of working age people with no qualifications are in employment compared to 84.8% of people with degree level qualifications.

John Wilson MSP said “these statistics show a failure by North Lanarkshire Council to raise the educational attainment of people living in the area which has contributed to growing rates of unemployment throughout North Lanarkshire in recent years.”

“The Scottish Government is taking steps, along with Skills Development Scotland, to tackle areas with the highest levels of unemployment. Skills Development Scotland has, for example, realigned its pre-employment programmes to ensure employability initiatives can respond effectively to local labour markets. The Scottish Government is also supporting 25,000 modern apprenticeships a year, the highest ever number in Scotland, giving young people new skills to enter the workforce.”

“However more must be done at local level and I would therefore call on North Lanarkshire Council to recognise and seriously consider the strong links between high levels of unemployment and low levels of educational qualifications highlighted in the report. It is essential that North Lanarkshire Council acts now to raise the educational attainment of those in the education system and those who are seeking employment so that everything possible is being done to reduce the levels of unemployment in the area.”

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