Young people looking to enter the workforce will benefit from £70 million of investment from the Scottish government – with the funding including around £10 million for a “school coordinator” in every Scottish secondary, responsible for forging links with employers.
School coordinators will provide a “dedicated, long-term link” between schools and employers – according to the government report published last year that recommended their roll out as one of several “top priorities for immediate action” in order to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the labour market.
The school coordinator’s goal will be to create increased opportunities for work-based learning for pupils, particularly in senior secondary, as well as supporting their access to education, work and training.
The package of support for young people also includes the Young Person’s Guarantee which offers every 16-24 year old in Scotland the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering.
The announcement meets four of the commitments for the first 100 days of this government, and comes as a new report highlights the progress of the Young Person’s Guarantee.
Since it was officially launched in November 2020 funding has been committed to create up to 18,000 training, job and apprenticeship opportunities for young people.
The £70 million of investment for 2021-22 includes:
• £45 million for local partnerships to provide training, employer recruitment incentives, and mental health interventions for young people
• £13.5 million for colleges, universities and the Scottish Funding Council to provide industry-focused courses supporting up to 5,000 young people and employment support for 500 recent graduates
• £10 million for the roll-out of 288 new school coordinators and enhanced school provision to support young people access education, work and training
• £1.5 million to increase places on volunteering and third sector programmes.
During a visit to Young Movers, a youth charity based in Glasgow, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We know that young people have been badly affected by the pandemic and we are determined to do everything we can to support them. The Young Person’s Guarantee is a vital part of that support which aims to give all young people the chance to succeed despite the economic impacts of Covid-19.
“This investment of £70 million, which meets four of our 100 days commitments, will also ensure employers continue to benefit from the fresh talent and new perspectives that young people bring to workplaces across Scotland.”
Sandy Begbie, chair of the Young Person’s Guarantee Implementation Group, said: ”Inclusion was at the core of the Young Person’s Guarantee so I am particularly pleased by the increased opportunities created for young people who are furthest from the workplace.
“None of this could have been achieved without employers being engaged and I am delighted we have almost 100 employers and business groups signed up supporting the scheme. Our young people, who have been disproportionately impacted as a result of the pandemic, are an asset to Scotland and it has never been more important that we deliver against the Young Person’s Guarantee.”