EU funds to tackle youth unemployment in south west Scotland
A £60m programme to tackle youth unemployment in the south west of Scotland has been launched with backing from the European Union.
The funding comes from a scheme targeting areas across Europe with high levels of youth joblessness.
The Scottish Funding Council and local authorities will be able to use the funds until December 2018 on initiatives supporting young people.
The Scottish government welcomed the news as a "fantastic boost".
The European Commission's Youth Employment Initiative is focused on areas across the EU where youth unemployment levels reached 25% or more based on 2012 figures.
Fair Work and Skills Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The investment being announced today will provide a fantastic boost to efforts to improve employment prospects in the area and should be welcomed by young people and employers alike."
Infrastructure and Investment Secretary Keith Brown added: "While the most recent European youth employment figures show that Scotland compares well to a large number of member states, we know that challenges remain.
"The Youth Employment Initiative again demonstrates the value of working with the European Commission to drive forward our economic growth."