This week

20th April 2012 at 01:00

Fall in youth unemployment

Youth unemployment in Scotland fell by 8,000 to 94,000 for the three months to February, official figures show. But this still represents an unemployment rate of 22.9 per cent, compared with 8.1 per cent for the workforce as a whole. The Scottish youth employment rate was 52.5 per cent - 3.5 per cent higher than the UK figure. The Scottish Trades Union Congress warned the long-term youth claimant count continued to rise.

Call to rescue outdoor play

A Scottish GP has called on councils not to sell off outdoor play areas to developers. Instead she wants a "culture of children playing outside in view of the health benefits".

Dr Sue Robertson, a GP and kidney specialist from Dumfries, will propose a motion at a British Medical Association conference in London calling on the UK and devolved governments to promote outdoor play for children. Dr Robertson will also call for governments to "instruct local authorities to stop selling off outdoor play spaces".

Hall of residence named at last

Students at the University of St Andrews have voted to name their biggest hall of residence after the university's first female graduate. New Hall, which opened in 1993, will now be named after Agnes Forbes Blackadder, who graduated 117 years ago. The official renaming, which coincides with the university's 600th anniversary, will finally give New Hall a permanent title, 19 years after it opened.

Intern exchange is on the rise

A British Council-run internship scheme that brings talented foreign students to work in cutting-edge Scottish firms and sends bright young Scots the other way is booming, with participation up 23 per cent. This year, 90 students will take up placements in Scotland through the IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) programme and the same number of Scots will head abroad, up from 73 in 2011.

Bid to enhance Gaelic links

A partnership scheme that promotes the shared linguistic and cultural heritage of Ireland and Scotland, Comcille, is offering support for new community initiatives, education, arts, publishing and youth projects. One of its most recent flagship education projects is SliCholmcille (St Columba Trail), which maps the saint's journey. Applications must have a strong focus on language and link Scottish and Irish Gaelic. www.gaidhlig.org.uk.

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