Argyll and Bute Council and its partners are developing a local youth employment strategy to help prepare young people to make the most of their opportunities irrespective of the barriers they face. Through the Argyll and Bute 16 + Learning Choices Partnership Group, the partners will tackle the hardest to place young people and offer them support through a range of options suited to their level of needs. A significant focus will be on preventative work by identifying any risks when young people are still at school, giving them the chance to build firm foundations which will equip them to achieve a positive destination in training, education or employment.
The council’s local strategy will focus on four key areas which are empowering people, supporting employers, simplifying the skills system and strengthening partnership and collective responsibility. The aim is to meet the Scottish Government’s ‘Opportunities for All’ policy which makes a commitment to offering a place in learning or training for every 16-19 year old not currently in employment, education or training.
Lead Councillor for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Breslin said, “The long term goal here is to enable all our young people to gain access to and progress their learning. We want to equip them with the skills to gain a positive destination in training, education or employment. We aim to improve young people’s chances in life and give them access to the personal support they need.
“Some significant progress has already been made and overall the number of school leavers from Argyll and Bute getting into employment, training and education increased in 2010/11 to 88.9%. This is the highest level since the School Leaver Destination Report came into being ten years ago. The number of leavers unemployed and looking for work has fallen to its lowest level in Argyll and Bute since 2009/10 to 9.6 %.”
A Rural Action Forum on Youth Employment for Argyll and Bute will be held in Oban on 18 September 2012. There will be key business people from Argyll and Bute, community planning partners, further and higher education representatives, training providers, elected members from council and government and a wide selection of young people from the area at the event. The keynote address will be delivered by Angela Constance MSP, Minister for Youth Employment who will outline the Scottish Government’s commitments and the national framework. The aim of the forum is to develop a set of actions that will help young people achieve and sustain a positive destination.