A Youth Summit organised by Skills Development Scotland, Jobcentre Plus, the region’s local authorities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) will be held today. The summit will look at the key challenges young people in the Highlands and Islands face in gaining employment and what can be done to tackle these issues.
Young people trying to access employment are often vulnerable as they are competing with highly skilled adults looking to re-enter the workplace. Delegates will be looking at what can be done to nurture young talent, support business growth and provide the skills needed to achieve the region’s economic potential.
The summit is aimed at developing improved co-ordination and a more strategic approach to youth employment bringing together skills and employment specialists, business and economic expertise and local authorities. It’s hoped to create a high impact action plan addressing the employment challenges faced by young people across the region, by helping to realise potential and deliver opportunities.
Danny Logue, Director of Operations for Skills Development Scotland said:
“Today’s event gives us the opportunity to look at how we can work collaboratively to identify and address the complex challenges of youth employment. We will also be sharing good practice and new ideas which we hope will encourage employers to do what they can to help the area’s young people into employment.”
John Dennison, District Manager for Jobcentre Plus added:
“We know that times are difficult for young people trying to get into the jobs market right now, so we are doing everything we can to ensure that they have all the help and support needed to take advantage of the jobs that are out there.
“We also want to help employers take that chance on a young person, we have introduced the Youth Contract and we would encourage Scottish business to get involved to take advantage of the assistance available.”
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE commented:
“By working together we can maximise the opportunities for young people who want to live and work in the Highlands and Islands. One of HIE’s top priorities is to support businesses and social enterprises to grow and to attract new investment to the area. The results of this work, particularly in sectors like energy, life sciences and business services, are opening up exciting options for jobs and workforce training across all parts of the region. We are a region with real potential and it is important to HIE that our young people, and the wider communities and economy benefit.”
Stuart Black, Director of Planning & Development for The Highland Council said:
“The Highland Council fully recognises the importance of this issue and is delighted to host this important event to look at how we can all work together to tackle it. Local Government has an important role to play in both nourishing ambition in our young people and supporting sustainable economic growth.”
Fraser Grieve, Highlands & Islands Manager for SCDI added:
“It is vital that industry engages with the public sector on how best to tackle this problem as many companies simply do not feel that our young are equipped with the right skills to meet their needs and that the support available does not recognise realities of running a business.
“I am grateful that so many members of the regions business community are attending this important event and want to play a full part in realising the potential of our young.”
Notes to editors
For further information, please contact Fraser Grieve, SCDI Highlands & Islands Manager on 07747 444261.