Young Persons Guarantee

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th November 2020.

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Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Clearly, we want to ensure that every young person has the guarantee, which is the first commitment. That is ambitious and it will be a challenge for us. However, if we do not set firm ambitions—as we heard from Sandy Begbie’s experience in Edinburgh—we have no hope of realising them.

Committing to deliver that target is important.

On what success will look like, it will be to make sure that people are in sustainable employment. We have done that previously: during the financial crash period, Scotland had one of the lowest levels of youth unemployment across Europe. Suppressing youth unemployment then has meant that there is now a 3 per cent difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Making sure that young people are in employment and have experience in the voluntary sector that is good and meaningful, and trying to make sure that this generation of young people is not discriminated against compared with previous generations, will also be important. Obviously, we monitor figures regularly for those who are not in education, employment and training. We have managed previously to get record levels of young people into education, employment or training. We want to make sure that we can get back to those levels as quickly as possible. The young persons guarantee at least gives us a fighting chance to do that.