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£1 million to support colleges

Published: 16 Oct 2015 12:30

Scotland’s colleges key to supporting youth employment.

Scotland's colleges are to share an additional £1 million to work in partnership with schools and employers to help support more young people towards jobs.

The funding forms part of action to reduce youth unemployment in Scotland by 40 per cent by 2021, as outlined in Developing the Young Workforce – Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy.

The investment was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham and will be used to strengthen links between colleges, schools and employers and young women and men into jobs. She said:

"Our colleges are fully focused on Scotland's economic growth, with the latest figures showing that the annual target of at least 116,000 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students has been exceeded once again and more college students from less well-off backgrounds successfully completing their courses.

"Work to reduce youth unemployment in Scotland by 40 per cent by 2021 is well underway via the actions outlined in Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy. Last month's figures showed that youth employment levels in Scotland increased by 25,000 over the year to reach its highest level for this time of year since 2005.

"Today's funding builds on the £0.5m allocated in 2014/15 to address gender imbalance on college courses. We have also funded Skills Development Scotland for more Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) and enhanced careers advice and local government to provide increased opportunities for high quality work-related learning for all young people.

"Our investment will allow colleges to further develop partnerships with schools and business that will lead to more high quality options for young people and help them build their experience and work towards sustainable, quality jobs."

Welcoming the funding, Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland said:

"This funding builds on the important work that colleges are doing to develop a genuine partnership approach with schools and employers. Colleges are already doing a huge amount to engage with employers and deliver high quality learning, but this funding will help colleges create new initiatives to target the specific needs of employers in their region.

"The funding will support efforts to bring learners and the workplace closer together, as well as breaking down gender stereotypes around particular trades and professions."