Young Scots want government to prioritise jobs

Posted on September 6, 2012

Young Scots want government to prioritise jobs
Two thirds of young people in Scotland would ask the First Minister about jobs and the economy if they had the chance, new figures show.
Research released today by ProjectScotland shows that young people care more about jobs and the economy than other issues such as crime, the environment and Scotland’s constitution.

The research was conducted by polling organisation TNS BMRB using their omnibus (Scottish Opinion Survey). It asked 18-30 year olds what they would ask Alex Salmond tomorrow at the first First Minister’s Questions of the new term, if they had the opportunity.

Given a choice of five issues, a large majority said they would ask the First Minister about jobs and the economy.

– Jobs and the economy: 68%
– Crime: 9%
– The NHS: 8%
– Scotland’s constitution: 5%
– Climate change and the environment: 3%
– Don’t know: 7%

Susan Watt, Chief Executive of ProjectScotland said, “Thousands of young people across Scotland are motivated and ready for work but find themselves unemployed or underemployed. This year we’re offering 1000 young people quality volunteering opportunities with non-profit organisations in Scotland. More needs to be done to give young people the skills and experience they need to get on in life.”

Last week ProjectScotland launched #thefirstquestion campaign asking people to tweet the question they would like to ask the First Minister when Holyrood reconvenes next week.

This drew a range of responses including:
@sarawatto: Dear @AlexSalmond, when is the Scottish Govt going to live up to it’s climate target promises? #thefirstquestion
@kirstythehill: Its great that more Scots are going to uni, but what will you do about grad unemployment in the nxt 4 years? #thefirstquestion
@malcolm_wilson: @Alexsalmond What’s your recipe for stovies? #thefirstquestion

Earlier this year ProjectScotland launched a new report called A stalled generation? that urged policy-makers to widen the focus of initiatives aimed at tackling youth unemployment and helping young people to make the transition into adulthood.

The traditional focus on those aged 16-24 risks leaving those aged 25-29 to fend for themselves and fails to take account of longer-term changes in the way that young people enter adult life.


1. TNS BMRB was commissioned by ProjectScotland to research the most important topics for political discussion among people aged 18-30 in Scotland. A sample of 992 adults aged 16 and over was interviewed in 61 constituencies throughout Scotland over the period 22nd-30th August 2012. Of this total 192 were aged 18-30. The total sample was weighted to match the Scottish population in terms of age, sex and social grade and geography..
2. The question asked was: “If you had the opportunity to ask the First Minister a question on his first week back, what topic do you think would be most important?” They were given the following options (randomised): Climate change and the environment, Jobs and the economy, Scotland’s constitution, The NHS, Crime, Don’t know.
3. ProjectScotland gives young adults aged 18 and 30 experience of work while volunteering with charities. It was set up in 2005, and since then 4,000 ProjectScotland volunteers have carried out work with more than 300 Scottish not-for-profit organisations.

ProjectScotland provides:
1000 volunteer opportunities a year with charity partners, each lasting between three to six months.
Participants are eligible for Jobseekers Allowance/other benefits while on a ProjectScotland opportunity. There is no sanction if the volunteer leaves early.
There are opportunities across Scotland, and ProjectScotland is working to offer them in every local authority area.
Mentoring is integral, with each volunteer getting weekly support and guidance from a trained volunteer mentor.