SNP manifesto: how we’ll support Scotland’s young people

A re-elected SNP government will continue our work to ensure that Scotland’s young people have the best opportunities – whether they choose university, college, vocational training or employment.

Here’s what we’ll do.

  • We will introduce a new Jobs Grant to young people aged 16 to 24 who have been unemployed for six months or more. This will help young people with the costs of getting into or back into work. Young parents will receive £250 and those without children will receive £100, as well as free bus travel for three months to help them take up offers of work.
  • We will increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 a year by 2020 – 5,000 of which will be in highly skilled careers. And we will provide free bus travel to all young people under 21 undertaking an apprenticeship too.
  • We will continue to offer a place in learning or training to every 16-19-year-old who needs one through our successful Opportunities for All programme.
  • We will always protect free education. There will be no tuition fees with an SNP government.
  • We will guarantee a university place for every care experienced young person meeting the entry requirements, and provide them with a full bursary.
  • We will implement the recommendations of the Widening Access Commission to ensure that, by 2030, at least 20 per cent of university entrants come from our 20 per cent most deprived communities.
  • We will maintain full-time equivalent college places and protect Educational Maintenance Allowances for nearly 60,000 school and college students. We will also retain student bursaries, including for student nurses, strengthen financial and practical support for disabled students, and review student funding to make it fairer.
  • We will work to deliver better mental health services for children and young people, bringing together healthcare and education, to ensure faster treatment without stigma. We’ll also explore how students’ health and wellbeing can be better supported to reduce drop-out rates and ease hardship.
  • We will restore housing benefit for 18-21 year olds – giving back to our young people what the Tories have taken away. This will protect 2,000 unemployed single people under 21.
  • We will support a further 5,000 households – including 2,000 first time buyers on modest incomes – into home ownership through our Help to Buy and Shared Equity schemes. This will be supported by an initial investment of £160 million in 2016/17.