The Scottish Government has launched a seven year plan for youth employment, aiming for a 40% cut in youth unemployment by 2021. Youth unemployment has been persistently high in recent years with young people leaving school, college and university finding it difficult to secure employment. The new strategy is a response to this and to the report from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, which was published earlier this year and recommended substantial changes to vocational education and improved opportunities for vulnerable groups.
Key measures over the next seven years include:
- increased uptake of work-related learning and qualifications in the senior phase of school
- Earlier careers guidance available from 2015/16
- New standard for work experience by 2015/16
- New ‘pre-apprenticeship’ pilot to help those furthest from the labour market by 2015/16
- All secondary schools to have active partnerships with employers by 2018/19.
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training said,
“Scotland’s economy is growing stronger and our employment figures are improving on a monthly basis. However, history shows us that it is younger women and men who find it most difficult to find a job, even when our economy is at its most resilient. Returning to pre-recession levels of youth employment is not enough and the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting more young people towards high quality jobs remains unwavering.
Councils will have a key role in delivering the strategy, which has been welcomed by COSLA’s Education, Children and Young People Spokesperson, who said that the strategy,
“quite rightly recognises the lead role that councils have in schools and local economic development that are central to this effort as part of a constructive partnership with the Scottish Government, and other key partners such as employers and colleges to realise the ambition of the Commission and build upon Curriculum for Excellence.”
Youth employability is a key priority of Glasgow’s Single Outcome Agreement and Glasgow City Council has recently carried out a youth employability review, which will inform the city’s investment in this area over the coming years.
Source: Scottish Government