Within two years, every person aged between 16 and 24 will have the opportunity, depending on their circumstances, to study; take up an apprenticeship, job or work experience; or participate in formal volunteering. This is the ambition of the Young Person's Guarantee, as proposed by Sandy Begbie CBE and committed to by the Scottish Government in the Programme for Government.
The importance of delivering the Guarantee is crucial, considering the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on young people's prospects. It must be enduring and sustainable, and not just a short-term response to COVID-19. The long-term aim is to ensure that young people in Scotland are supported to make that connection to work and access valuable opportunities for years to come.
The Guarantee must be employer-led, building on the success of Developing the Young Workforce, and must make a tangible difference to young people and to those who provide opportunities that allow young people to reach their potential. As such, young people will need to easily access the Guarantee and be supported in reaching opportunities which are available to them. This will involve a 'no wrong door' approach where delivery partners work collectively to connect young people to positive outcomes.
We are clear that opportunities provided must encompass Fair Work, and be meaningful, sustainable and underpinned by a package of training. Advancing equality and inclusion, and working to eliminate discrimination will also be central to the Guarantee to ensure that no one is left behind. The Scottish Government will work with those delivering the Guarantee to take action that will support particular groups better access a range of opportunities – this includes but is not limited to: young black people, young people of colour, young disabled people, young women, young LGBTI+ people, and young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The importance of intersectionality across characteristics will also need to be considered.
Implementing the Guarantee will be a collective endeavour and we have established an Implementation Group made up of partners from the public sector, third sector, and private sector. Sandy Begbie chairs the Group, which has been considering how best to progress the recommendations from his initial report and the operational implications of putting them into action. Therefore, the Group has supported the development of an Activity Plan which sets out the initial high-level activities which are required to successfully implement the Guarantee. This Plan is set out below.
This is the first phase of the Plan which will be updated at regular points to account for progress made and future activity to be prioritised as part of the Guarantee. The Scottish Government will also work collaboratively with the delivery partners identified to develop more detailed proposals in order to work towards delivering on the key responsibilities and outcomes outlined.
The Plan brings together existing policies and programmes which seek to deliver the ambition of the Guarantee. These existing policies and programmes are funded and delivered by a range of partners. Building upon these strong foundations, this high-level Plan outlines activity that will maximise and improve this existing work, as well as proposing new activity. The Plan is also aligned to existing Scottish Government strategies - including those relating to education, the economy, and the labour market (including the Labour Market Strategy, Fair Work Action Plan, Race Equality Framework & Action Plan, Disability Employment Action Plan, Gender Pay Gap Action Plan and Future Skills Action Plan).