31/07/17, Cate Nelson-Shaw

On your marks. Get set. Go! Realising the potential of Scotland's young people

investors in young people, youth employment, young people

As the good practice framework Investors in Young People celebrates its 400th accreditation, we reflect on some of the challenges facing our young generation as they seek employment…

Last week our Chief Executive, Peter Russian, limbered up for a photoshoot at Scotstoun Athletics Stadium in Glasgow to celebrate sportscotland becoming the 400th organisation to be awarded Investors in Young People.

Launched three years ago, Investors in Young People responded to the Scottish Government’s Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. Rising youth unemployment and the global economic downturn have meant young people in Scotland have found it increasingly challenging to secure long term, meaningful employment. Seventy per cent of female school leavers remain in education but tend to cluster in specific subject areas that leads to occupational segregation and 40% of young people who achieve qualifications at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 3 or below leave school and become unemployed*. Statistics like these make for uncomfortable reading and lead us to question the career opportunities available for many of Scotland’s young people.

Young people have a lot to offer and can bring so much to an organisation, whatever its size or the nature of its business. They are inquisitive, often asking the questions no one else would dare; they are often uninhibited by the workplace codes which often stifle innovation and creativity in other colleagues and they are often champions of an enviable work life balance. It’s essential for business across Scotland to embrace the diversity young people bring.

So we’re calling on you to be (or continue to be) that organisation, that line manager, that colleague or that mentor who gives young people a chance and encourages them to become the best versions of themselves. As Peter Russian says, “Let’s encourage more of Scotland’s businesses to provide meaningful youth employment practices and excellent training to enable our young people to build life skills and fulfil their potential”. That surely is a winner.

*Source: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/12/7750/2 


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