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  1. ITV Report

New Dumfries jobs centre opens to tackle high youth unemployment

The sign on the wall declares the centre's mission Photo: ITV News Border

A new centre for employment has opened in Dumfries to help people find work.

The "Total access point", or TAP centre, is based on Nith Place and is specifically aimed at supporting businesses and young people.

The launch of the new employment centre Credit: ITV News Border

It's the council's latest idea in the battle to get youth unemployment down in Dumfries and Galloway, where it is consistently above the national average.

The new centre will provide businesses and young people with advice and support to find work.

"We have a huge number of very talented people in Dumfries and Galloway but every time a young person is unemployed it's a tragedy. It's a tragedy for that individual who can't get on in life, it's a tragedy for the family who have to support them but it's also a tragedy for the region because we miss out on so much untapped talent, so every young person we want to support them to get into work."

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries & Galloway Council (Labour)

The centre will act as a one-stop-shop where people can access a wide range of services, from all sectors of the employment industry.

"The challenge that we have is one big company coming here isn't going to solve the problem across a region the size of Dumfries and Galloway. So this initiative, this project, is about supporting our small and micro businesses to grow because they exist right across our region so if each of them could take on one young person then we won't have youth unemployment - that's our challenge and we're all up for it."

– Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive, Dumfries & Galloway Council

It means people in Dumfries and Galloway now have a single point of contact for making the first steps into employment.