Boost for volunteer opportunities

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The Scottish government is offering 1,000 volunteering places to help young people struggling to find jobs or get into further education.

The recession resulted in a big rise in the number of people chasing college and university places this year.

It is hoped young people will be able to access a wide range of opportunities in the voluntary sector, helping them on the road to long-term employment.

Skills Minister Keith Brown unviled the plan at parliament.

With the majority of places for colleges and modern apprenticeships now awarded, the government plans to step up support for youngsters who face being out of education or work.

Mr Brown, said: "Since the summer, we have been working hard to help school leavers secure a place in learning or training.

"As well as the range of opportunities we previously announced, we have tasked Project Scotland to work with Skills Development Scotland and partners in the voluntary sector to target volunteering opportunities at those summer leavers who have yet to secure a positive destination.

"Many of our young people have successfully taken up places in college or training; this is the right time to target these volunteering places at those still in need."

The announcement comes after Prime Minister David Cameron outlined plans to allow thousands of young volunteers to help some of the world's poorest people abroad.

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