£1m boost for the young workforce

Developing the Young Workforce launched in the islands, and nationwide scheme extended until 2021

The islands of Scotland are the latest to benefit from the creation of industry led  groups dedicated to helping young people prepare for and find work.

The Scottish Government has provided more than £1 million to  establish Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Regional Groups in Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.

The launch coincides with the news that funding for the DYW regional groups nationwide will be extended until 2021, and completes the network of 21 groups set up across Scotland as part of the Youth Employment Strategy: Developing the Young Workforce.

More than 3,500 employers and 100 schools have already engaged with the programme since it was launched in 2015.

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn, speaking at the launch event in Orkney, said:

“I’m delighted to announce this £1 million investment. Expanding the DYW network, along with our commitment to fund the groups until 2021, provides the certainty and reach to support employers and educators willing to work together for the benefit of young people across Scotland.

“Youth unemployment in Scotland is below the UK average, and is the fourth lowest in the EU. We have also seen a record number of school leavers from our most deprived communities continue their education and training, but we cannot afford to be complacent. That is why I have announced this new investment for the islands, as well as our extended commitment to the national programme.”

Commenting on the funding commitment until 2021, Rob Woodward, Chief Executive of STV and Chair of the DYW National Group said: “DYW regional groups across Scotland are starting to deliver improved work experiences and opportunities for young people, it is therefore fitting that the Scottish Government has extended its funding commitment to DYW regional groups until 2021.  This will ensure continuity and certainty for the nationwide network of DYW regional groups and improve the employment prospects for all young people.”   

Stephen Kemp from Orkney Builders, one of the founders of the DYW group in Orkney, added: "It's great to be part of an employer-led initiative that will enable us to proactively engage with young people at a suitably early stage.  We will aim to ensure that students are properly guided in terms of their chosen fields of study, careers advice, and work experience with the aim being to properly prepare them for their chosen career path when they leave school."

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