Greenspace & Job Opportunities

An environmental response to youth unemployment within the CSGN area

‘In the UK, and across Europe, the labour market position of young people started to deteriorate many years before the financial crisis and subsequent recession. A return to economic growth will not, on its own, bring about a sustained fall in youth unemployment…We need to create much stronger links between education policy and labour market policy, particularly for those that do not go from school or college into university education…We need guarantees of quality vocational education and real work experience that prevent young people becoming inactive.’ Spencer Thompson, Fellow, Institute for Public Policy Research, Nov 2013.

The scale of the problem

There is a concentration of youth unemployment within the CSGN area. Despite the area having just 69% of Scotland’s population, 80% of the nation’s unemployed 16-24 year olds live here.

In total some 65,000 16-24 year olds (or 23% of young people) are unemployed in the CSGN area, this is higher than the national rate of 20%.
In fact, the younger you are, the higher the likelihood that you are unemployed. Nearly one third (32%) of the CSGN’s area’s 16-19 year olds are unemployed. In comparison, it is just 9% for the area’s working age population.

A green infrastructure based response

The Green Action Trust has created 6 case studies showing how organisations such as the Forestry Commission, Local Authorities, the private sector and community and voluntary groups are tackling this issue of youth unemployment.

These projects also improve local greenspace, social cohesion within communities of disadvantage and can tackle unsightly vacant and derelict land and physical barriers which dissuade people from using local path networks.

Costs and benefits

CSGN undertook an audit of on all the relevant schemes operating within the CSGN area from January to December 2012. Based on data collected, we calculate that a £1million programme could train 160 participants at a cost of £6,225 per trainee. A report on this research is available from the link below.

A six month programme could provide certificated qualifications for each participant (for example in use of machinery), job experience and crucial soft skills - which prospective employers value highly; and 190km of path construction and upgrade; 120ha of woodland creation and 100ha of spot weeding.

We are starting to explore funding opportunities to help programmes like the ones illustrated in the case studies above. For any more information on this campaign, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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