UNEMPLOYMENT across the Borders has increased by almost 10 percent in the past year.

Figures released this week by the Department of Work and Pensions show that at the end of November there were 1839 people in the region looking for jobs - a year-on-year increase of 165.

The number of young people, between the ages of 18 and 24, out of work within the overall figure has increased by nine-per-cent with 326 signing on.

But the most recent unemployment count remains significantly lower than five years ago with 18 percent less people in the Borders out of work than at the start of 2015.

Although the figures do include the loss of 48 jobs with the closure of RP Adams in Selkirk as well as more than 20 jobs at Hawick Knitwear in the summer, they don't include the most recent 24 jobs lost with the closure of the Leven Car Company.

Despite the disappointing figures, staff at the local Jobcentres remain optimistic the picture will improve.

From Monday, February 10 Galashiels Jobcentre will host a construction site safety course.

And 90 unemployed over 50s have been invited to a New Year New Start event next month.

Mike Niven from Galashiels Jobcentre Plus told us: "With several very large construction projects in the Borders we continue to promote this sector to our unemployed customers.

"To support this further we are recruiting for our next construction course.

"Customers who secure a place on the course have the opportunity to obtain safety certificates and be able to go on a two-week work placement.

"JobcentrePlus in partnership with Community Learning Development are hosting New Year New Start community events for our unemployed customers aged over 50.

"The events are due to take place in Gala Jobcentre on February 6 from 10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm.

"We will have a local employer promoting the positives of employing this age group, what they bring to the labour market and dispelling some myths around age being a barrier to work.

"There will also be four organisations holding workshops detailing the activities and opportunities available in local communities that people can engage with to help support them back to work."