Young Person Guarantee
We will GUARANTEE every young person aged between 16 and 24 in Scotland, the opportunity, based on their own personal circumstances and ambitions, to go to university or college, an apprenticeship programme, training, fair employment including work experience or participating in a formal volunteering programme.
This needs to be bold, it will of course never be completely achieved, we never quite achieved it in Edinburgh, but it sends a very clear commitment, a guarantee.
Personally, I am an enormous advocate for the Living Wage and if we were in a better economic environment, I would be proposing a move towards the Living Wage for all employment in Scotland. We are, however, well aware of the economic challenges facing the majority of businesses and the overarching priority must be to maintain as much employment as we have and create new opportunities that keep young people connected to work or education. Eradicating ‘in work’ poverty for young people is a core principle, and in my recommendations I am clear that jobs that are being created must come with a stated commitment from the employers to move to the Living Wage within an agreed time period, which will coincide with the economic recovery.
So, in summary, the Guarantee should be the single point that draws together all the various employability Guarantees including the UK Government Kickstart programme into one place for our young people and employers. A clear message from all stakeholders but particularly employers was to ensure the Young Person Guarantee was the ‘umbrella’ that brought all other initiatives together and in particular Kickstart. Kickstart is worth up to £230m to Scotland and comes with additional work coaches as part of that investment. As I reference later in the report, for both our young people and employers, it is vital that access to the Guarantee is simple and efficient so engagement and collaboration with DWP will be really important to achieve that goal. As stated in the principles, I want to keep this simple for both young people and employers, and given the complexity of the current landscape, the Guarantee can play a key role in simplifying this position. A simple analogy would be the Guarantee would work initially like an ‘aggregator web-site’ and by doing so would be able to deliver against the commitment.