Change urged for out-of-work men

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Front Page -

UN­EM­PLOY­MENT in Dundee must be tack­led by break­ing down gen­der stereo­types that stop job­less men tak­ing on roles tra­di­tion­ally as­so­ci­ated with fe­males, says a busi­ness leader.

The city’s em­ploy­ment rate is the worst in Scot­land and has fallen faster over the past decade than in any other part of the coun­try, official fig­ures pub­lished yes­ter­day showed.

Jobs are in­creas­ingly avail­able as car­ers and in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, but it is feared older men are not go­ing for them be­cause of the per­cep­tion they are for women.

Alison Hen­der­son, from Dundee and An­gus Cham­ber of Com­merce, said there is a “core of men aged 45+ who are long-term un­em­ployed” in the city.

“It’s im­por­tant to en­cour­age longterm un­em­ployed peo­ple to con­sider a sec­tor change, to adapt to the chang­ing lo­cal jobs mar­ket and learn new skills which make them more likely to work in sec­tors where we know a work­force will be re­quired, such as the care, hos­pi­tal­ity, re­tail and ser­vice sec­tors,” she said.

“Many of these sec­tors are weighted to­wards women work­ers and we’re get­ting the mes­sage to men to con­sider these sec­tors as good ca­reer prospects.”

There were 63,400 peo­ple liv­ing in Dundee with a job in 2017-18, which is 6.9% lower than 10 years ear­lier.

The City of Dis­cov­ery’s em­ploy­ment rate of 63.8% is the worst in the coun­try, com­pared with An­gus (75.7%), Fife (74.3%) and Perth and Kin­ross (75.4%). Across Scot­land the rate is 74.3%.

In Dundee, the pro­por­tion of women em­ployed is 63.0% and 64.6% for men in 2017-18. The lat­est em­ploy­ment dip was fu­elled by the num­ber of Dundee women in work fall­ing by 2,100 be­tween 2016-17 and the fol­low­ing year.

Bill Bow­man, the North East MSP for the Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tives, said: “These sta­tis­tics are very dis­heart­en­ing, but not sur­pris­ing be­cause the SNP seem to have given up on Dundee. It is par­tic­u­larly con­cern­ing that the level of fe­male em­ploy­ment has fallen given the lev­els of de­pri­va­tion in Dundee.”

John Alexan­der, the leader of Dundee City Coun­cil, said: “We know that there are real chal­lenges in the city and that there is much more to do.

“Our fo­cus is on key pri­or­i­ties like deal­ing with poverty and inequal­ity, in­creas­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties, im­prov­ing the lives of our young peo­ple, ad­dress­ing health prob­lems and cre­at­ing strong, safer com­mu­ni­ties which will be what leads to suc­cess in fu­ture years.”

Alison Hen­der­son.

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