As a coalition supporting young people, we are delighted to see that youth unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 28,000 over the past year.
Scottish government activity on getting young people into work is to be welcomed. We must, however, not be complacent. There is more work that can still be done, especially in dealing with those young people with complex needs and care leavers who need more support to get them back into the labour market. This is a hidden group with, for example, only 15.5 per cent of those with a learning disability in employment or training.
What works best in this situation is an approach that combines financial backing and intensive support to ensure these young people are work-ready. We would also encourage employers, in the public and private sectors, to give the young people in these groups a chance when it comes to employment and training opportunities, as they can prove to be excellent workers offering a tremendous range of skills.
Working with the Scottish government, we can look at how the needs of these harder-to-reach groups can be addressed, ensuring they are fulfilling their potential and making a positive contribution to society rather than being left isolated on the fringes.
The Scottish Children's Services Coalition: 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, Edinburgh.