Life chances for disabled children

26th February 2016 at 00:00

Monday marks the beginning of Scottish Apprenticeship Week. While we are keen to highlight the positive work the Scottish government has done to get those young people with disabilities and care experience into modern apprenticeships (MAs), the figures indicate just 0.41 per cent of starts in 2014-15 had a self-declared disability.

This is in the context of 8.6 per cent of the population in work in Scotland aged 16 to 24 who have a disability. We therefore welcome the government’s pledge to increase the proportion of MA starts for those with self-declared disability to match the percentage of disabled 16- to 24-year-olds in the population by 2021, and to increase the number of those with care experience in MAs.

The rewards of getting these young people, many of whom boast excellent skills, into work are well worth it, with higher loyalty and retention rates and the contribution to sustainable economic growth.

Through developing the talents of all our young people, we can create a more equal society. We need better buy-in from employers as it is they who can make the vital difference in this area.

We urge employers to “look behind the label” when taking on an MA and take advantage of the excellent skills that are offered by these young people.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition

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