Regional employers look towards the future.
Business representatives in the west of Scotland are to lead work to develop Scotland's young workforce in the region.
The West Region Developing the Young Workforce Group will aim to improve links between education and work in the East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire council areas.
Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing met key stakeholders in Paisley to launch the group which has been developed with representatives from the employer and education sectors. She said:
"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.
"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.
"I am very pleased that the group for the west 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.
"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 the west region can look forward the development of fresh career pathways to ensure they are well placed to maximise their potential."
The West Region DYW group will be chaired by Vic Stirling, Head of Performance at Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission. He said:
"As chair of the west region group, I'm delighted that we now have the tools to help us transform the prospects of young people across the region. This is a hugely important undertaking. We know there are real barriers between many young people and employment. We will use these tools to remove those barriers.
"Ours is a multi-agency approach but it is right that it is employer-led. We will be encouraging employers across our region to become active partners with West College Scotland, our schools and Skills Councils to help shape learning and provide immersive experience of the work place.
"Success will bring huge benefits to our young people, our local businesses and the wider Scottish economy."