A CLYDEBANK teen says he had to face up to gang threats as he tried to find a way back into work.

Stuart Ramsay says he was put off attending employment training groups because he was warned it would “cause trouble” with youths from other areas.

But the Drumry resident has praised the efforts of local employment skills provider Street League in dealing with the problem ­– and in preparing him to apply to college and, hopefully, get into work.

Stuart, 18, had been living and working in Govan until moving to the Clydebank area just over a year ago – but lost his job because he couldn’t afford the cost of travel.

But thanks to Street League’s programme of team challenges and workshops, as well as its mock interviews and CV writing sessions, Stuart says he now feels ready for work - and has applied to Anniesland College to study towards an apprenticeship in joinery.

He said: “Before Street League, I hadn’t engaged in any youth employment programme and I didn’t think it would help me much.

"I wouldn’t have gone into a careers adviser or joined a group because other boys from different areas were involved and it would cause trouble.

“When I started at Street League, there was a bit of that, but they dealt with it and made everyone realise it doesn’t help.

“Rival gangs also really put me off going to support centres in case I ended up in trouble.

“Now I’m not interested in any of that – it helps no-one.

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“I want lockdown to end now so I can find work and colleges can process my application.”

Stuart also says he wants employment groups and the Scottish Government to do more to tell disengaged young people about the programmes available to help them find employment.

“If you aren’t in school then how would you know there is such a thing as a careers adviser?” he said.

“The government needs to understand that it’s not as easy as just applying for jobs. I didn’t even know what to write about myself until I got support.”

Brian Cameron, youth and community coach at StreetLeague, said: “We bring people together from different backgrounds by completing different icebreakers and challenges and encouraging communication amongst one another.

“We’ve delivered a series of interactive challenges and workshops which rely on teamwork.

“In doing this we have found our young people have formed strong relationships with each other, despite some of them having only ever seen each other on a screen.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP, the minister for business, fair work and skills, said: “I recognise the challenges that Stuart and other young people face as they transition into the world of work, and the Scottish Government has a wide range of support available.

“This includes our Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) programme and our new online DYW Skills Academy, where young people can learn interview tips and develop skills such as CV writing.

“In addition, people of any age can access specialist career service support from Skills Development Scotland (SDS).”

“While centres are closed due to Covid-19, advisers can be contacted over the phone and online.”