Focus on young people’s life chances.
A report into how the Scottish Government can support the transition from adolescence into adulthood has been welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
‘The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland’ is the second report from the Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality, Naomi Eisenstadt, who says any support young people receive from the government is vital in their development.
The report makes 18 recommendations to government around employment, housing and mental health, seeking to improve the life chances of young people from less advantaged backgrounds. It also reflects on action that the government has taken in many of these areas, particularly the commitment to grow, enhance and widen the Modern Apprenticeship programme.
The First Minister also confirmed the creation of a new independent Poverty and Inequality Commission with a wide remit. The Commission will be in place for an initial two year period, in advance of any statutory arrangements that may be put in place via the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill. Douglas Hamilton has been appointed as Chair and Ms Eisenstadt and Kaliani Lyle as Deputy Chairs. Once established, the Commission’s first task will be to provide independent advice to Ministers on the first child poverty Delivery Plan, due in April 2018.
The First Minister said:
“Naomi Eisenstadt has again provided robust advice to the Scottish Government on how we can tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland. When I appointed Naomi in June 2015, I was clear that I wanted her to challenge the government and scrutinise the work we were doing to alleviate poverty and inequality. Her first report made a number of useful recommendations and we are making significant progress in implementing these, as the progress report also published today shows.
“Naomi’s latest report ‘The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland’ provides useful challenge to the Scottish and UK Governments to do more to improve the life chances of young people from less advantaged backgrounds and to build a fairer future.
“The publication of this report marks the end of Naomi’s tenure as my Independent Advisor – and I thank her for all she has done. I am delighted that she will continue to have provide her expertise and advice via the new Poverty and Inequality Commission.”
“The new Commission will build on Naomi’s excellent work, providing independent advice to Scottish Ministers, harnessing determined collective action on a cross-portfolio basis; and scrutinising how governmental budgets, policy and practice can have the strongest impacts on poverty and inequality.”
Ms Eisenstadt’s report is informed by a formal review of the evidence commissioned from Scottish Government analysts, and engagement with a wide range of experts; including young people.
The First Minister and Ms Eisenstadt this morning visited Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to meet a group of Modern Apprentices from Wheatley Group, whose lives have been turned around by the opportunity to develop their skills.
Ms Eisenstadt indicated at the start of her second year as independent advisor that she only wished to serve one further year in post.
Mr Hamilton will identify other members to join the Commission shortly.
Links to both the Poverty Advisor’s reports: