Edinburgh’s young people to have their say
Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy is to be updated to reflect the strengthening economic conditions and the Government’s ambition to radically improve how young people move from education to employment .
Employers, public bodies and the third sector all now have the chance to contribute to a ‘refreshed’ strategy which is expected to be published later this year.
Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance will meet around 60 young people in Edinburgh later today to gauge their views on the best ways to help 16 to 24 year olds into work. She said: “The Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy was published in late 2012 as a cross government drive to ensure the right links were being made by government, local authorities and other key partners.
“Much has changed since then, with the latest figures showing that youth unemployment has fallen from 91,000 to 65,000 in the last two years. The number out of work is still unacceptable but Scotland’s economy has returned to pre-recession levels and employment in the general population is higher than ever.
“I am determined to maintain a strong focus on youth unemployment so that young people will continue to benefit from the economic growth that we are delivering. There has also been considerable activity at government level, not least our response to the work by the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.
“History tells us that following a period of economic difficulty, it takes longer for the jobs market for younger age groups to recover, but I am determined to push beyond even the pre-recession levels of youth unemployment of around 13 per cent.
“We share the Commission’s vision of a world class system of vocational education and of a 40 per cent cut in youth unemployment by 2020. But to ensure we are doing everything in our power to help our young women and men to succeed and to take advantage of the strengthening economy, our approach must continue to evolve and our central strategy must reflect the current economic conditions.
“With the full range of economic levers that an independent country would have including taxation and welfare, we would be able to better align our service so that we make an even greater difference in the lives of our young women and men.”
In a joint statement YouthLink Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, and Young Scot, said: “As organisations who work with young people we welcome the government’s continued focus on youth employment. It is important that an updated youth employment strategy listens to the views of young people so we can develop the right employment programmes, training and opportunities that reflect their needs. A well supported, vibrant and dynamic youth work and young people’s sector will play a key role alongside the strategy in bringing skills and positive opportunities to young people.”