Clegg Visits Dunfermline

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will highlight the UK Government's £1 billion programme to tackle youth unemployment in a visit to Scotland today.

The Liberal Democrat leader will meet apprentices in Dunfermline just over a month after launching the Youth Contract scheme.

Under the programme, at least 410,000 work places will be found for 18 to 24-year-olds across the UK, with wage subsidies worth £2,275 handed to employers to take on 160,000 young people.

It will also create additional work-experience places and £50 million will be spent on helping 16 and 17-year olds into training.

The Government says the programme will see £100 million of benefit to Scotland, £18 million of which will go to the Scottish Government over three years.

Mr Clegg said: ``Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster.

``We can't lose the skills and talent of our young people, right when we need them most.

``We can't afford to leave our young men and women on the scrapheap. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.

``If people are out of work when they're young they bear the scars for decades. If they have a false start, they might not ever fully catch up.

``These are tomorrow's mothers, fathers and tax-payers. If they end up falling behind our whole society pays the price.''