Comment on Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce

Posted on June 6, 2014

The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce was set up in January 2013, chaired by Sir Ian Wood. It has released a report making recommendations as to how Scotland can produce better qualified, work ready and motivated young people with skills relevant to modern employment opportunities, both as employees and entrepreneurs of the future. In addition, the report recommends the need for more employers to recruit more young people.

Paul Reddish, Chief Executive at ProjectScotland, comments on Sir Ian Wood’s Report: Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. 

“The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce is a positive and insightful report that supports the ongoing requirement of providing opportunities for young people in Scotland.

ProjectScotland is a charity that helps young people in Scotland to get on in life through volunteering.  We engage with young people, aged 16 – 30, to offer them meaningful, quality vocational experience.

We agree with the need to do more to prepare and equip our youth for the world of work. Our volunteering opportunities help young people get on in life by increasing their employment skills and confidence with the support of a mentor. We believe in identifying a young person’s talents, interests and career aspirations and ensuring they get the opportunity to develop experiences and skills to enhance this.  The need to focus on positive opportunities for specific groups such as those with a disability and care leavers is essential.  Through programmes like ProjectScotland’s, the Third Sector play a vital role in providing opportunities for these groups.  Along with many of our charity partners, we will embrace the opportunity to do our bit to help the employability of Scotland’s young people.

We look forward to seeing the recommendations develop into action, and are open to dialogue with the Scottish Government and other key partners regarding the role we can play in helping to achieve some of these goals.

We have strong evidence of increased employability levels through our three month placements. Almost a third of our current staff are former ProjectScotland volunteers, and around 7 out of 10 of our volunteers have gone on to a job, education or training on completion of a placement with us.

At ProjectScotland our offer is straightforward and effective.  16-30 year olds are matched into full-time volunteering opportunities, for a period of three months, in a variety of sectors including arts, sports, media, animal care and the environment. Each volunteer is given a structure and a line manager and the chance to be supported by a mentor. They are also given access to employability workshops.  We work in partnership with hundreds of charities throughout Scotland, adding capacity to their operations and making a difference to local communities. These are proactive and engaged relationships that benefit both young people and employers.

We’re currently working in partnership with Scottish Government to do even more in rural areas to address the issues of youth employment. Scottish Government funding has enabled ProjectScotland to significantly expand its operations in rural areas taking the number of young Scots it supports in the North and South West of the country to 230 a year.”

Paul Reddish, Chief Executive, ProjectScotland