Belfast Telegraph

Summit to tackle youth jobs plan

Youth employment will become the focus of the next round of British-Irish discussions in Scotland this summer.

The Scottish Government said efforts to tackle the wider problem will be addressed in June.

It follows talks on the issue at a summit in Dublin today.

The new youth employment minister, Angela Constance, said: "I am very pleased that all here today have agreed that tackling youth unemployment must be prioritised.

"This is a problem faced across the British Isles and it is absolutely right that we work together on how to solve it.

"Scotland will host the next meeting in June, where we will discuss the effectiveness of steps taken by all the administrations on youth employment. My appointment provides increased impetus to the range of measures put in place by this Government since 2008, backed up by additional investment of £30 million."

She highlighted the SNP administration's Opportunities for All programme as a positive step. It guarantees a place in training or education for every 16 to 19-year-old.

Ms Constance was part of the Scottish delegation, led by First Minister Alex Salmond and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The British-Irish Council brings together governments and administrations across the islands, and includes the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

Before the official business, Mr Salmond and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discussed the next steps in talks about the referendum on Scottish independence, which has dominated UK political debate for a week.

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