As a teacher I know there are often a number of barriers to young people entering the workforce. That’s why I’m delighted that developing the skills of our young people and getting them into good, well-paid work is at the heart of our plans to create a prosperous and inclusive economy.
Youth employment in Scotland is the highest of any country in the UK but we want to go further and have set the ambitious goal of reducing youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2021.
There’s much more we want to do. If re-elected, an SNP government will ensure our young people have the skills to put them at the cutting edge of the economy and jobs market.
Our Jobs Grant
Today Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to use the power to create new benefits to introduce a Jobs Grant. Young people aged 16-24 who have been out of work for six months, and are starting a job of more than 16 hours a week, will be eligible. The grant of £100, or £250 for those with children, will support the costs of getting into work – and could benefit around 6,000 young people each year. Those eligible for the grant will also receive support with the costs of public transport for up to three months.
In government the SNP has delivered 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships every year and has created over 186,000 since coming to office. A re-elected SNP government will expand the number of apprenticeships to 30,000 every year by the end of the next Parliament with 5000 additional places focused on highly skilled employment and growing industries.
Equipping young people with the skills they need to enter the workforce
We’re providing young people with the skills to help them enter the world of work. In government we introduced the new Professional Baccalaureate. This new qualification will offer clear programmes of learning, relevant for the world of work and key employment sectors – including skills in engineering and technology.
An SNP Government will make sure we give all of our young people the best possible start to their working lives by protecting jobs, creating opportunities and investing in skills and education for all.
Alison Dickie is the SNP Candidate for Edinburgh Central