Claudia Macdonald, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Who Cares? Scotland said:
We welcome the Scottish Government’s vision for the Young Person’s Guarantee, which commits to providing opportunities in training, education and employment for all young people across Scotland.
Research carried out by Sandy Begbie highlighted that Scotland’s youth unemployment rate of 21.8% in 2011 is likely to be repeated unless we, as a society, take collective action. We support this as a first step from the Scottish government, responding with urgency is vital as youth unemployment is detrimental to our whole society.
In particular, Care Experienced people are particularly impacted when unemployment rises. Before Covid 19, Care Experienced people were over three times as likely to have not had a full-time job by the age of 26, and 29% of looked after school leavers were not recorded as being in work, education or training 9 months after leaving school.
If the Young Person’s Guarantee prioritises and commits to this group, there is genuine opportunity here to address, rather than carry over, these inequalities. We support Sandy’s recommendation of a state wage subsidy for employers who take on young people who need help the most.
We believe that when discrimination is eliminated and good relationships are fostered, Care Experienced people flourish in work and education. We call for Care Experienced people to be a centrally prioritised group for forthcoming wage subsidy schemes developed as part of the Young Person’s Guarantee.”