By Bill Heaney
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said that the Scottish Government’s ‘weak’ Young Person’s Guarantee scheme is putting the future of thousands of young people at risk.
With the economy still in turmoil, youth unemployment remains a serious threat.
Yet, despite the scheme being launched in November 2020, the Scottish Government has confirmed that they have still set no targets for their Young Person’s Guarantee, meaning there is no way to measure the success or impact of the scheme.
Most recent statistics have shown that around 30,000 young people are currently unemployed in Scotland but to date the scheme has only created opportunities for up to 18,000 young people meaning thousands will slip through the cracks.
In addition, as well as having no targets for how many young people they intend to help, the remit of the SNP’s Young Person’s Guarantee is so broad that the opportunities it offers include formal volunteering – essentially unpaid roles.
In contrast to the SNP’s weak jobs offer for young people, the Jobs for Recovery plan proposed by Scottish Labour during the election would have guaranteed every unemployed person under 25 the offer of a paid job for at least six months.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “It’s abundantly clear that the SNP’s Young Person’s Guarantee is weak and not fit for purpose.
“We face a tidal wave of youth unemployment, but the SNP’s flagship programme only has space for a fraction of the number of unemployed young people, has no measures with which to gauge its success, and includes unpaid and voluntary work.
“Frankly, this SNP government does not have the ambition or the political will to tackle unemployment.
“In contrast to the timidity of the SNP, Labour’s plans would guarantee every young person in Scotland a job.
“Today I am urging the SNP to wake up to the crisis on the horizon and listen to Labour, trade unions and businesses so that we can protect the future of the young people of Scotland.”