Young people will be able to access a range of support services provided in Gaelic as part of a new initiative.

The project, launched by Young Scot, will offer advice online about topics including financial management, puberty and internet safety.

It aims to help inspire more young people in Scotland to speak the language.

According to figures published by Scotland’s National Centre in Languages (SCILT), the number of pupils learning Gaelic in schools below Higher level increased from 151 in 2017 to 209 in 2018.

The number of pupils studying the language at Higher level also increased slightly from 69 to 75 over the same period.

The statistics point to a generally downward trend since 2012 when 375 pupils were learing Gaelic below Higher level and 110 were learning it at Higher level.

However, Young Scot indicated it is hopeful that the number of pupils learning Gaelic in schools will continue to rise following the latest increases.

The organisation also announced that it had agreed a nationwide partnership with bilingual bookseller Acair to offer a 10% discount to Young Scot NEC cardholders on Gaelic, Scots and bilingual books, as well as other educational resources to help people to start learning.

Ruairidh Hamilton, Gaelic Development Officer at Young Scot, said: “We know developing language skills is a great way to strengthen career prospects available to Scotland’s young people.

“This project is a really exciting way for Young Scot to give Gaelic speakers the resources that they need and to showcase the benefits of adopting the Gaelic language in everyday life.

“We want young people to have easy access to advice and support that can help them achieve their future ambitions.”

David Boag, of public body Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The aim of the National Gaelic Language Plan is that Gaelic is used more often, by more people and in a wider range of situations and this is particularly important amongst young people.

“The launch of this resource will ensure that 675,000 Young Scot card holders have a new opportunity to use and engage with Gaelic and we welcome this positive development.”