MSP talks on jobs struggle in rural areas

Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don
Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don

Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don, has spoken out about the difficulties faced by his constituents looking for employment in rural areas.

Speaking at a Scottish Government Debate on the future of Scotland’s employability services held in the Scottish parliament last week, he commented: “In order for folk to find a job, there has to be a job there.

“In order to make any sense of all this, therefore, we need sustainable economic growth.

“I suggest that rural communities need local jobs.

“The difficulty is that people have moved out of obvious forms of employment over the years.”

Mr Don drew on experience from one of his constituents who found herself in the cycle of applying for the minimum jobs required to be eligible for her job seeker’s allowance.

In this particular case, the women was even encouraged to apply for jobs as far away as Perth, which would end up costing her £16.70 a day - money that was simply not available to her.

The MSP then closed his statement by urging his colleagues to recognise the employment restrictions faced by people living in rural areas.

He continued: “There are all sorts of barriers due simply to transport, family requirements and mental health issues.

“Folk in rural communities find it much more difficult to work their way around those barriers than people do in urban areas.

“I make a special plea that, whatever we do, we bear it in mind that the city opportunity is very much easier for folk than the opportunity in rural communities.

“We must address that through the systems that we set in place.”