Figures released this week have highlighted a significant milestone in reducing the number of teachers claiming jobseekers allowance.

According to labour market statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), only 105 qualified teachers in Scotland were looking for work in December 2013, which is the lowest number at that time of year since the first collection of these figures in 2005.

The Scottish rate now equates to 2.1 per 1,000 in the workforce in Scotland, compared to 5.7 in England, 7.1 in Wales and 15 in Northern Ireland.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“I very much welcome this news which against a backdrop of an increase in Scottish employment of 90,000 and our lowest overall unemployment rate in five years, I am very pleased indeed to see such welcome news for the teaching profession both locally and nationally.

“This is the lowest ever number of teachers claiming jobseekers allowance at this time of year, following figures released late last year showing the country-wide pupil teacher ratio to have remained level, ensuring a stable teaching workforce.

“I do know from speaking to newly qualified teachers a few years ago that there was a real problem in them being able to find teaching jobs. The Scottish Government were more than aware of this problem when it inherited office and took steps to manage the supply of teachers and this week shows that the Scottish unemployment rate for teachers is a fraction of that seen elsewhere in the UK.