Campaigning for increased training and employment opportunities

The SCSC is campaigning to increase the training and employment opportunities available to young people with additional support needs (ASN) and care experience. Through developing the talents of all Scotland’s young people this assists in creating a more equal society and supports the delivery of sustainable economic growth.

We commend the Scottish Government for its continuing work to create sustainable employment opportunities for young people. This includes a commitment to cut youth unemployment by 40% by 2021 and to increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships on offer.

However, we remain concerned by the barriers facing many of those with ASN and care experience looking to enter training and employment.

This group of young people represent some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised members of our society. With lower levels of educational attainment than those not in this group, this impacts on training and employment opportunities.

By supporting these young people into training and employment not only does this benefit them, but employers gain their skills and commitment, with a positive impact on society and the economy.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition

Greater support into training and employment

We are campaigning to ensure that young people with ASN and care experience have equal access to a wide-range of meaningful training and employment opportunities, tailored to their individual needs. To achieve this we are looking to ensure that they receive the guidance and support needed to allow them to transition smoothly into training and employment.

There should also be greater assistance and encouragement, including specialist support, for employers who want to employ these young people, while also promoting the workplace benefits of doing this. To this end we successfully campaigned to expand Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (ERI), providing financial support to employers who recruit young people with disabilities and care experience into sustainable employment.

Other measures we are campaigning for include:

  • Earlier transition planning – Earlier educational and employment transition planning is required for those with ASN and care experience, including prioritised and tailored career advice and work experience at school.
  • Relaxing age restrictions – The age restrictions of those with ASN and care experience entering vocational education and training should be relaxed as their transitions, on the whole, take longer.
  • Greater financial support  There should be greater financial support to colleges and training providers to address the requirements of those with ASN and care experience, reflecting the additional costs of undertaking this.
  • Increasing investment in training and employment  There should be greater investment in training and employment programmes benefitting those with ASN and care experience.
  • Setting targets for Modern Apprenticeships – The number of Modern Apprenticeships starts for those with ASN and care experience should be increased, with targets set, as well as providing the highest level of funding.