Sandy Begbie CBE, CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise, shares why the Young Person’s Guarantee will put young people at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID-19. 

Young people are the future of Scotland. Yet COVID-19 has exacerbated the postcode lottery and social disadvantage which far too many already face: education has been disrupted, jobs cut and the opportunities for talent to flourish, lost.

Young people will be the driver of our long-term recovery from the impact of COVID-19, so we must have a response which puts them at its heart. Doing so will help us build a fairer, more inclusive society and show our commitment to helping young people succeed.

Scotland’s commitment to young people

That is why I am honoured to have led the development of a Young Person’s Guarantee for everyone aged 16-24 in Scotland. This ambitious call to action builds on the success of the likes of The Edinburgh Guarantee and puts the weight of Scottish businesses, policymakers, educators, and charities – including Career Ready – behind young people.

The Young Person’s Guarantee offers the opportunity of:

  1. An apprenticeship
  2. Fair employment including work experience
  3. Participating in a formal volunteering programme
  4. Training
  5. Going to university or college
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Yes, it is a bold commitment for policymakers and employers, backed up by £60million of funding from the Scottish Government, but now is the time to be bold in our commitment to young people.

As Chair of Career Ready, I am delighted with how Career Ready, in partnership with our network of employers across all sectors, will help make this possible by contributing to the Young Person’s Guarantee through mentoring alongside a paid, four-week internship.

It is encouraging to see the high-level of support from employers already, especially given the hardship that many businesses currently face. It is also great to see the response of the third sector following COVID-19, as charities will be vital in helping young people and society navigate these challenging times.

An investment which works for all

The difference the Young Person’s Guarantee will make could be transformational for Scotland and its young people. And if we invest in young people today, we will all enjoy the dividends in the future.

Young people will receive the vital employment, education, and skill development opportunities they need to be successful in life. Not only will this have a life-changing impact on their future careers, but it will help protect their mental wellbeing and future happiness.

Moreover, it will add lasting value to businesses across Scotland. The boost in skills and workplace experience will give employers the future talent they require, especially those needed for the modern economy.

But to reach our ambition of providing this critical support to young people, we need the support of more employers, large and small, from across Scotland.

That is why we urge you to come forward and show your commitment to young people by getting involved with the Young Person’s Guarantee, Career Ready and the other organisations committed to ensuring Scotland’s young people can succeed.

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