New statistics show that Kirkcaldy is the sixth worst area in the whole of Scotland for joblessness, reports PAUL McCABE.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that 3,102 people from the town are currently claiming jobseekers allowance, whilst Fife as a whole sits fourth in the list of regional unemployment blackspots.
A total of 10,600 Fifers are now unemployed, 706 more than this time last year which is a rise of seven per cent.
Long-term youth unemployment across the region has also risen alarmingly.
A total of 645 Fifers between the ages of 18-24 have been on the dole for more than 12 months, an increase of 23 per cent since May 2010,
Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown, said: “These figures are worrying and it doesn’t help when job schemes have to be stopped due to a lack of money.
“I know the local YMCA had 20 people on the Future Jobs Fund which was scrapped by the coalition Government.”
Liz Easton, General Secretary of the Kirkcaldy YMCA, said: “The scrapping of the Future Jobs Fund was a huge loss.
“It offered six months employment at a minimum of 25 hours a week to 18-25 year olds.
‘‘Training is hugely helpful in getting youngsters into work.”
“There is very little open to some young people at the moment - it doesn’t look good.”
Mr Brown promised action over the news: “I’ll be pushing hard on the government to get more works enterpise schemes in place,” he said.
“My worry is the long-term youth unemployed. What we need to do is make sure that when young people leave school or studies that they have something to do.
“It’s a real problem when someone is long term unemployed. The longer they are unemployed the harder it is to get them back into work.
“We need to look at this urgently so that the youth of Kirkcaldy benefit from having jobs to go to.”