£60 million 'Youth Guarantee' investment announced
A total of £60 million will be invested in a Youth Guarantee to give all young people access to work, training or education, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed.
An implementation plan for Scotland’s Youth Guarantee is currently being developed. Funding will come from the additional £100 million Scottish Government investment for employment and skills announced last month.
Speaking to Parliament, Ms Hyslop set out more detail about what the Youth Guarantee will aim to achieve.
“The young people who will make up our future workforce are among those who have been hardest hit by this pandemic. We must support our young people and I want to send a clear message to them today.
“I can announce that the Scottish Government will be committing £60m of the £100m employability fund to support Scotland’s Youth Guarantee, targeted at those most in need of support. This will support young people in a range of ways to help make the transition into work.
“I will bring forward more detail on how we will use this investment with the implementation plan, but I can say now that it will be targeted at those most in need of support, to help them make the transition into work.
“To succeed, we must invest quickly to support a range of interventions to keep young people in work in the next few weeks, to encourage employers to recruit more young people, and to ensure we have enough provision in colleges and elsewhere in the system to prepare young people for future opportunities.
“We must work collaboratively across the private sector, third sector and public sector to ensure no one is left behind, and give them every opportunity in life.
“We want employers to have a clear leadership role. I will encourage employers in all sectors to come forward and support what I see as a crucial intervention to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) leaving a lasting impact on the employment opportunities of our young people, but also to recognise and promote the valuable and positive role that young people have to play in our economy.”
The Youth Guarantee was one of the main recommendations of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery. The implementation plan is currently being developed by Sandy Begbie, who chaired the Developing the Young Workforce Group in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian and helped design the Edinburgh Guarantee for young people.
A total of £100 million for employment support and training was announced last month to tackle employment challenges. £10 million of this will be used to support a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices.
Last week the Flexible Workforce Development Fund was doubled to £20 million, to allow employers to upskill and reskill workers for new markets. A further £1.5 million was announced for Business Gateway’s Digital Boost programme to help SMEs adapt to new online digital market challenges – almost trebling the capacity of the initiative for the remainder of this financial year.