Creative & Cultural Skills is supporting the Young Person’s Guarantee as part of our commitment that the creative and cultural sector will Build Back Fairer. The Guarantee aims to provide an opportunity to every 16-24-year-old in Scotland through a job, an apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering. Sandy Begbie CBE CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise, has led on its development and offers more detail about why it matters and how to get involved.
The past months have affected every aspect of life as we know it. For employers across the creative and cultural sector it has been a challenging time with restrictions impacting on the work of the sector and its wider workforce.
The history of previous economic downturns tells us that they can have a scarring effect on young people which remains evident throughout their working lives, and if we are to avoid creating a lost generation, we must take steps now to help them overcome the barriers they face.
As the economy begins to take steps to recovery it is important that employers have the support and the people they need to continue to flourish.
That’s where Scotland’s Young Person’s Guarantee comes in.
I’ve been proud to lead on the development of the Young Person’s Guarantee, which sets out to ensure that today’s generation continue to have access to work and learning. It’s delivered in partnership through the public sector, the third sector, education, and critically Scotland’s employers.
It aims to provide an opportunity to every 16-24-year-old in Scotland through a job, an apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering.
And it works by bringing together tried and trusted support mechanisms that young people know and that employers understand.
The Guarantee signals a commitment to support young people but is also pivotal to employers as we take further steps towards a lasting economic recovery.
It is essential that young people have the same opportunities afforded to previous generations. I’m grateful for the opportunities I received when I was younger and would not be where I am today without the faith of others and the chances I was offered.
Employers, including those in the creative industries, are absolutely fundamental to offering young people hope and the chance to progress at a time when they need it most.
And I’m delighted that Creative & Cultural Skills have come on board as a supporter of the Young Person’s Guarantee at this time and will be encouraging its networks and partners in Scotland’s creative and cultural sector to do likewise.
How can creative and cultural sector employers in Scotland get involved?
Young people bring enthusiasm, energy, creativity and diversity to any organisation and most importantly future proof a skilled workforce for years to come.
The 5 employer asks that the Young Person’s Guarantee has developed allow employers of all sizes to get involved. They take into account the current situation but also encourage you to do more when you can, in up to five ways:
- Inspire pupils and college students to gain the skills needed for the world of work
- Create opportunities for young people who face the greatest barriers to work
- Create jobs and apprenticeships suitable for 16-24-year-olds
- Create work-based learning, training and upskilling opportunities for young people
- Ensure a work environment which supports all young people and provides fair work
And support is there for you, whether that’s taking on apprentices, taking advantage of the UK Government Kickstart scheme or using Developing the Young Workforce to help prepare young people for the world of work.
By signing up to the Young Person’s Guarantee, employers can use that support to access a future talent pipeline, helping shape new talent and ensure succession planning. Young people not only address skills gaps; they also offer a competitive advantage through a team with generationally diverse skills, insight and ideas.
The delivery of the Young Person’s Guarantee is in some ways a reaction to the pandemic, but is also about collectively reshaping the employment landscape for young people in Scotland, including within the creative and cultural sector, in a way is sustainable for the foreseeable future.
Since it was launched in November the Young Person’s Guarantee has already travelled a great distance, with 18,000 new opportunities for young people having been developed. There is, however, a great deal that remains to be done.
The pandemic and business recovery need not be a barrier to investing in youth and I’ve been constantly inspired by the many success stories I’ve heard from Scotland’s employers.
I would encourage you all, to now seize the moment and consider how taking on a young person could benefit your organisation as well as offering someone a valuable opportunity.
Now is the time for all of us to commit to supporting Scotland’s young people and ensure their future is a bright one and a fair one.
Sandy Begbie CBE and CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise