The Scottish Government have announced their Programme for Scotland 2020/21 -you can read it here. Nicola Sturgeon MP announced a £60 million Youth Guarantee, so every young person aged between 16 and 24 will be guaranteed an opportunity at university or college, training or employment. The offer will bring in other aspects of the Programme for Scottish Governments for 2020/21.
The focus of the Government is moving young people into good jobs at a time when they are most vulnerable in a tough labour market that has seen impacts to the sectors most likely to employ young people (such as tourism, hospitality, retail and leisure). The £60 million Youth Guarantee aims to ensure no young person is left behind; every young person aged between 16 and 24 will be guaranteed an opportunity at university or college, an apprenticeship programme, employment including work experience, or participating in a formal volunteering programme.
Other schemes supporting the Youth Guarantee
This will be further supported by by additional funding for apprenticeships and the new Job Start Grant; providing £250, or £400 for people with children, supporting around 5,000 young people a year starting a new job after a period of unemployment. Nicola Sturgeon said that the focus has to be on young people, “supporting, retraining and investing” in their futures is key to a smoother economic recovery.
The long term goal sitting behind the Youth Guarantee will be moving young people into the Green New Deal to help the nation tackle climate change; £100m over the next five years, investing alongside businesses and organisations to support new and increased opportunities for green job creation across Scotland.
There will other be further investment in the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) that began in 2012, with £10 million in DYW Regional Groups to support more young people to access the labour market, strengthen their links with employers, and create more opportunities to employ young people.
This Programme for Scottish Government underlines our commitment to deliver 1,140 hours free early learning and childcare. An additional £2.35 million for the Parental Employability Support Fund for those most at‑risk of poverty, including disabled, young, and ethnic minority parents. They have also said they will keep their promise to care experienced young people, investing £4 million to deliver holistic family support. A further £3 million to support young people to engage in youth work activities
The Scottish Government will support children to learn on‑line through the provision of 25,000 Chromebooks and internet access, tackling digital divide and promoting equality, ensuring all young people can reach their potential.
Covid-19 has exposed the need for investment to tackle the attainment gap and the Scottish Government are investing £135 million in extra resources. They will support educational catch up, and recruit 1,400 additional teachers and 200 support staff and help close the poverty related attainment gaps. Digital learning opportunities for young people will also increase, supported by the provision of Chromebooks and internet access. The hope is that this will build resilience in the face of COVID-19 and create new opportunities for young people to learn.