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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 12:49 GMT
Shettleston Man defines city ills
Confidence is returning to Glasgow's east end, it was claimed
Shettleston Man personifies Glasgow's ills, according to the right-leaning Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

His life expectancy is 63 - some 14 years below the UK average.

He lives in social housing and is terminally unemployed.

The CSJ Breakthrough Glasgow report said: "His white blood cell count is killing him due to the stress of living in deprivation."

It said he had no control over his life, with diet and exercise providing no escape.

Only employment could cure him. The impact of stress could be reversed in three years by giving him work, according to researchers

For those at the heart of the community, Shettleston Man personifies a lost generation.

The CSJ, which created the label, was set up by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Many still blame his party for creating Shettleston Man while in power.

Local MSP Frank McAveety knows the ills facing his constituency as he lost his father at an early age.

"It is a massive challenge," he said.

"The government ignored lost opportunities in the 1980s. The reality is we need to work with those folk who never got back into work.

"There are ingrained attitudes we need to work to change.

"The answer is changing neighbourhoods through better housing and getting young people to realise the benefit of education."

Air of confidence

Mr McAveety said the east end had a bright future after winning the right to stage the Commonwealth Games in 2014, which will bring new sports centres and housing.

Add to this the Clyde Gateway project, which hopes to help create 21,000 jobs and more than 10,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

You don't leave school unless you're willing to go into education, employment or training
John Riley
Headteacher St Mungo's Academy

Shettleston Man's sons and daughters face a bright future, he said.

Community initiatives across the east end aim to break the cycle of deprivation and provide opportunities in education and employment for entire families.

"Efforts are under way and we know we've got a long way to go," said Mr McAveety.

"We're not underestimating the problems, we know what the challenge is.

"The reality is many more people are in work or full-time education."

John McLaughlin, SNP councillor for Shettleston, said an air of despondency was being replaced with confidence.

"The blame lies with successive Westminster governments which ignored Shettleston. That's a fact," he said.

"The industrial heart has gone and has never been replaced.

"There is poverty, deprivation and violence but it is being combated.

"Small community projects are bringing the area back up. People are getting involved."

Self esteem

At St Mungo's Academy in Parkhead, 96% of school leavers entered further education, employment or training last year.

The school is working to provide opportunities for the young men and women the CSJ identifies as being crucial to ending Shettleston Man's destitution.

Headteacher John Riley said: "The ethos of the school is vital in giving self-esteem and confidence to make the next step.

"It's vital there is partnership working to make the transition into employment or further education."

The school has a full-time careers advisor, targets vulnerable groups and a key worker helps those who struggle to attend school.

It runs both enterprise initiatives and financial education schemes.

"It's about providing opportunity," said Mr Riley.

"If you can provide them with opportunity, 99% will take that opportunity."

"You don't leave school unless you're willing to go into education, employment or training."

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