Regional employers look towards the future.
Business community representatives in Ayrshire are to lead work to develop Scotland's young workforce in the region.
The Developing the Young Workforce in Ayrshire regional group will aim to improve links between education and work in the three local authority area.
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham met key stakeholders at University of the West of Scotland's Ayr campus to launch the group which has been developed with representatives from the private and public sectors. She said:
"I am very pleased that the Developing the Young Workforce regional group for Ayrshire is up and running. While there is a considerable amount of good work happening in the area, I recognise that much more can be done to support young women and men towards sustainable and rewarding jobs.
"Recent statistics demonstrate a clear and sustained improvement in the youth labour market with youth employment reaching its highest May to July level since 2005 and youth unemployment falling to its lowest level and rate since 2008.
"We want to maintain progress and employers will play a key role in the delivery of the aims of Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy – a 40 per cent reduction in youth unemployment by 2021.
"We want an improved relationship between schools and employers that will allow all of our young people to progress, whatever their background or gender. Young people across Ayrshire's three local authority areas can look forward the development of fresh career pathways to ensure they are well placed to maximise their potential."
Val Russell CEO Ayrshire Chamber added:
"Ayrshire Chamber is delighted to be leading the Ayrshire Regional Group which is a natural extension to the education work we already deliver. We are confident that working closely with partners, both public and private sector, we will lead the changes required to create a fairer Ayrshire giving all young people support tailored to their needs and equip them with the skills and attitudes required to help Ayrshire business grow and prosper.
"Our vision is to support all unemployed young people regardless of cause, uncover natural talent, facilitate its growth in the perfect environment – educational or workplace – whilst instilling self-belief."