Get on track to a better life

Edinburgh's economic resilience efforts received a further boost today.

Convener for Economic Development, Cllr Tom Buchanan, joined Kenny MacAskill MSP to launch the city's new and extended 'Get On' information and advice service.

The event, held in the city's Craigmillar area, came just two days after the release of the latest official unemployment figures, which signalled a sixth consecutive monthly fall in Edinburgh, despite rising in Scotland as a whole.

Cllr Buchanan said: "I am delighted for those who have managed to find work and encouraged that unemployment in Edinburgh is still below the Scottish and UK average.

"We do, of course, recognise that economic conditions remain challenging, particularly in those areas of the city acing most difficulty. We will continue to work closely with our partners to offer targeted services such as 'Get On' to those most in need of our support."

A key element of the city's response to the economic downturn and anti-poverty strategy over the past 12 months, the 'Get On' mobile information unit has successfully reached local people in their own communities across the city, offering relaxed, straightforward guidance on a range of topics and services to help them on a path into employment, training, volunteering and learning.

Toni Clark, 18, from Gorgie credits the service with getting her life back on track: "I really don't know what I'd be doing now if it wasn't for Get On, she said. "They pointed me in the direction of Remploy and now I'm all set to begin my care course. I can't wait!"

Having secured further monies via the Fairer Scotland Fund, topped up by the council's economic development budget, the service is now being extended. Customers will now benefit from a new and better equipped mobile unit, a dedicated website and freephone helpline.

Further, the mobile unit will now be complemented by a number of fixed drop-in information points across the city.

Kenny MacAskill MSP added: "This is an excellent, but gentle, way to encourage people in and around the constituency, and beyond, to seek help from the organisations who deliver valuable services to which they are very much entitled to. I congratulate everyone involved for the guidance and much needed support that they give to people to help them improve their lives."

It is hoped that, in the future, the bus will become a touring feature around the city, including a presence at wider community events.

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