Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance has highlighted the need for full job creating powers for Scotland to support more young people after meeting key European figures this week.
As part of a three day visit to Den Haag and Brussels, Ms Constance met representatives of the European Youth Forum, to discuss how the Scottish Government has consulted young people on employment issues.
The talks with European partners, including representatives from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland comes ahead of next week’s national youth employment summit in Edinburgh which will give more than 100 young people the chance to raise employment issues directly with Ministers.
Speaking from Den Haag, Ms Constance said:
"This week has been incredibly useful in showcasing how Scotland is supporting more young people into employment through a range of activity and investment. I’ve had discussions with the European Youth Forum, who commended our engagement with young people on important matters like youth employment, and represented the UK at the Education Youth and Culture and Sport Council.
"Listening to the actions being taken by countries like the Netherlands and Austria, both with a youth employment rate of below 10 per cent, is vital to informing our longer term work to support young people into jobs.
"However, Scotland cannot maximise action to support more young people into work without the full range of job creating powers of an independent country. What was very evident in the discussions I had was that full power over employment services is critical in tackling youth unemployment. This, combined with job creating powers and full control of our own finances, would mean that Scotland was much better positioned to improve the employment prospects of our young people."
This week Ms Constance also attended the European Employment Forum and met with the European Director-General for Employment.