A good education system is key to tackling youth unemployment
Yesterday the Scottish Government announced the creation of yet another ministerial post, adding to the already enhanced ministerial bill the SNP has passed onto the tax payer.
Angela Constance was announced as the Minister for Youth Employment. This portfolio will be one to watch as youth unemployment is rising to over 100,000 in Scotland. This SNP administration needs to put more action into reducing this staggering number rather than doing what they have been doing to date, blaming the Tory-Lib Dem cuts.
At present our education system is tailored towards those who want to move onto University. Those young people, who are not interested in University, are simply left out. We need to dramatically reform our education system by encouraging vocational learning and apprenticeships.
In terms of employment we need to ensure young people who leave school at 16 are supported into employment and ensure that it pays to work. This means intensive training in secondary schools for school leavers on how to write a CV, interview skills and how to present themselves as at present this is not done enough in our schools.
An ideal support system would be one that supported 14-19 year olds. The project would go into schools and work with young people identified by teachers who are not doing well and are at risk of exclusion or leavening with little grades. The service would meet these young people over a number of weeks, providing intensive support to try and encourage a positive destination. This is the type of early intervention approach our new minister needs to explore on a national scale.
I dearly hope this new ministerial position will not focus on College or University funding rather training, informal learning and apprenticeships. I also hope the MSP to act as a spokesperson on Youth Employment for the Scottish Tories will focus on the issues I raise above and not University or College funding.