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Target youth unemployment

I write in response to the Scottish government's draft strategy on supporting young people into employment.

Any initiative that gives young people the chance of a positive start in their working lives must be applauded and welcomed.

We simply cannot risk the short, medium and long-term potential consequences of writing off this generation, when we know this investment is critical to safeguarding Scotland's economic future. Yes, the public purse is facing tough constraints, but the ramifications of not supporting the young cannot be underestimated.

This draft strategy makes a number of very positive and constructive points and it is pleasing to see that the government is embracing the contributions of public, private and third sectors on an equal basis. We will watch with great interest how these proposals are put into practice and the impact they will have.

In turn, it is imperative that these disparate sectors rise to the challenge of working together to deliver any final strategy, ensuring the solutions offered are effective and represent real value for money. The services we collectively provide must be tailored to the needs of our young people and we must ensure the investment is successful and improves the prospects for young people and society as a whole.

The draft strategy encompasses a cohesive approach highlighting different avenues for young people to take and opportunities for organisations and businesses to capitalise on unearthing what is fast becoming an untapped talent pool.

Through a collaborative approach to tackling youth unemployment, Scotland can soon reap the benefits of having an engaged and employed young generation.

Heather Gray, director, The Prince's Trust Scotland.

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