Young way forward

(Photograph) - A year of action will offer young people improved services, better facilities and more of a say on local issues, Robert Brown, the Deputy Education Minister, has promised.

The executive's strategy, Moving Forward, is based on a plan to get more young people involved through youth work and, in so doing, improve their chances. More than 2,500 responded to the consultation which helped shape the strategy.

"Young people are full of potential. We must make sure that every one of them gets the right support to develop their talents and the chance to have challenging experiences, build their confidence, widen their horizons and set them off successfully on life's journey," said Mr Brown.

Shona Macdonald, above, has a masters degree in environmental biology but her lack of experience was making jobs hard to find. ProjectScot-land helped her become a volunteer ranger for National Trust Scotland.

"The best part is getting hands-on experience," she says.

Over the year, the Executive has made the following commitments: Provide Pounds 500,000 to help build the capacity of youth organisations and improve training for youth volunteers; Give pound;5 million funding to improve facilities for young people; Appoint a co-ordinator who will work with schools and youth workers to strengthen links across the sectors.

Set up a Youth Opportunities Fund of pound;2.5 million so that young people can run local events, projects and volunteer campaigns;

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* Photograph: Drew Farrell

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