Colleges vital in tackling youth unemployment

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Fife College has voiced concern at reports that youth unemployment in Scotland could surge past 100,000 before the end of the year.

The think-tank IPPR has today published a report that analyses data from the Office of Budget Responsibility to create a forecast as to what might happen when the furlough scheme ends later this year.

It projects that 34% of 16 to 24-year-olds in Scotland could be out of work with job opportunities limited in the near future.

The figures come after the recently published Higgins report into Scotland’s economy post-pandemic called for an education-led recovery, and stated that, “As in the aftermath of 2008, colleges will need to be at the heart of the recovery effort.”

Fife College has said that education and training will be vital in ensuring that young Scots have the skills they need to find employment going forward, and that colleges across Scotland were ready to play their part in the recovery.

Assistant Principal of Fife College, Iain Hawker, said:

"If correct, these figures paint a worrying picture for young people going forward.

"Tens of thousands of Scots might find themselves in need of work towards the end of the year, and it's essential that they receive the right support to get back into employment.

"The college sector will play a key part in helping equip those affected with the skills and education they need to get back into employment.

"By providing relevant and high-quality learning and teaching we can gear qualifications to the needs of any future jobs market to help give those studying with us the best chance of going on to a positive destination.

"At Fife College we understand the vital role we can play as we work with our partners including local authorities and Skills Development Scotland, to tackle youth unemployment, and we're determined to play our part."