Argyll and Bute Council is working hard to increase the number of young people going into employment through helping them prepare to succeed in the modern labour market, and by encouraging employers to recruit young people straight from education.
The council with its partners – including Argyll College University of Highlands and Islands, Skills Development Scotland, third sector organisations and local employers - have key roles to play in developing Argyll and Bute’s young workforce and supporting the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy.
The council received £137, 000 in March 2015 to support the aims of the government’s strategy, with further funding for 2015/16 due to be announced shortly. The council’s Youth Employment Opportunities Fund will also provide £150,000 over two years to help vulnerable young people leaving education to move into further or higher education, training, employment or voluntary work.
The council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Rory Colville, said, “Young people are the future workforce for businesses and employers in Argyll and Bute and the council recognises that investing in them is key to both their success and to the development of Argyll and Bute’s economy and local communities.
“All our key partners are keen to develop local, sustainable placement and employability opportunities that allow our young people to remain and thrive in Argyll and Bute. The establishment of Foundation Apprenticeships in health and social care and in engineering through partnerships between schools and Argyll College is an example of an innovative response to skills requirements in the local economy.”
Members of the council’s Community Services Committee, at their meeting on 4 June, acknowledged the council’s role in developing the young workforce locally, and endorsed the continued use of the Youth Employment Opportunities Fund.
Members agreed also to continue to support work placement within the council and the Modern Apprenticeship programme, and noted the establishment of an Argyll and Bute Invest in Young People Group led by local employers.
The Scottish Government’s strategy includes increasing the uptake of work related learning and qualifications by senior school pupils, the wider introduction of careers guidance, new standards for work experience, a new apprenticeship pilot to help those young people further from the labour market, and the establishment of active partnerships between secondary schools and employers.