A simply great youth debate

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who used the recent youth employment debate in the Scottish Parliament to highlight the additional barriers to employment faced by disadvantaged young people.

Independent and third-sector providers, such as the Scottish Children's Services Coalition (SCSC) are superbly placed to work with young people at all stages of their journey towards and into jobs. From working with these young people at greatest risk of disengagement through to offering opportunities to those closest to the labour market, the sector provides a broad range of support.

As a coalition, while we welcome what the government has done in this area, we are seeking greater financial resources to assist those with complex needs to help them re-engage with education and training. This is a group that faces additional barriers to entering the job market, and addressing these obstacles is important.

Many businesses and the public sector are offering modern apprenticeships, training and work experience opportunities, and we would encourage them to make sure that those with complex needs are given every chance to take advantage of these possibilities.

We would also encourage the greater use of incentives to support 16- to 24-year-olds from disadvantaged groups into employment, including modern apprenticeships.

SCSC welcomes the opportunity to be part of this debate. With the necessary inputs, we can ensure that our disadvantaged young people are given the best possible opportunities in the world of work.

The Scottish Children's Services Coalition comprising:

Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom

Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius

Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? Scotland

Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School

Brian Durham, managing director, Young Foundations.

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