Introduction from Sandy Begbie, CEO Scottish Financial Enterprise, Chair of Young Person’s Guarantee Implementation Group, Chair of DYW
We all know that this year has been a year like no other and understand that the impact on young people has been significant.
Research undertaken with young people by Young Scot reveals anxiety that this year’s qualifications and achievements will not be valued as highly by employers in comparison to previous years. My many discussions with industry and employers resoundingly confirms the opposite. Instead my experience is widespread employer admiration for the fortitude and resilience young people have shown throughout all the challenges faced in the past year, and a solid commitment to create opportunities to help shape futures.
Official SQA results are due to be issued on 10 August. This is an opportune moment to communicate through an ‘open letter to young people’ that Scotland’s industry and employers stand in support of them, recognise their qualifications, and congratulate them on their achievements. The content of the open letter is attached and includes a number of signatories who represent a broad range of Scotland’s employers. We couldn’t include everyone, however I know there will be many more who stand ready to endorse it.
I therefore kindly ask for your support now, to get behind our campaign and help re-build youth confidence at this critical time.
An open letter to Scotland’s Young People
While you enjoy the summer and a well-deserved break from your studies we wanted to write to you in our role as Scotland’s business leaders and on behalf of our networks of thousands of Scottish employers. As you receive your official SQA results, we want to reassure you that we recognise and value your qualifications as much as any other year. We congratulate you on everything you’ve overcome and achieved this year, and you have our support, whatever your needs and wherever your ambitions lie.
Over the past 18 months you’ve had to deal with a situation like no other and the flexibility, ingenuity and resilience you’ve shown gives us confidence in you as future employees.
We are committed to helping to create job opportunities for you so that you can have a positive future. We are also committed to ensuring that there are opportunities available for every young person and that you have help and support to develop further.
Many people in interesting job roles across Scotland may not have taken an obvious or traditional path. Look out for #NoWrongPath which will show you that, whatever your results, there are different routes into jobs. There are lots of industries continuing to grow and new ones emerging which offer exciting opportunities. Employers need young people with fresh ideas and experience to get involved and work together with us to tackle big challenges, such as climate change. We will do all that we can to help you find ways to use your skills and talents in the workplace.
We all support the ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee and its commitment that within two years, every young person aged between 16 and 24, will have the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering. And we’ll keep speaking to young people across Scotland to understand how we can keep delivering on our commitment to you.
Wishing you the very best of luck with your next steps. Scotland’s employers stand ready to support you. This is our #CommitmentToYOUth.
Sandy Begbie, CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise
Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance
Louise Macdonald, National Director Scotland, Institute of Directors
Damien Yeates, CEO, Skills Development Scotland
James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food and Drink
Dr Liz Barron-Majerik, Director, LANTRA
Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, CIPD
Tracy Black, Director Scotland, CBI
Anna Fowlie, CEO, SCVO
Fiona Hodgson, CEO, SNIPEF Training Services
David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium
Karen Betts, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association
Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s
Susan Love, Head of External Affairs, The Federation of Small Businesses
Liz Cameron, CEO, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Sara Thiam, CEO, Scottish Council for Development and Industry
Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children
Iain MacRitchie, Founder and Chair, MCR Pathways
Anne Wexelstein, Director for Scotland, Career Ready
Kate Still, Director Scotland, The Prince’s Trust
Kirsten Urquhart, CEO, Young Scot