The commitment was launched by the Scottish Government in 2020 and aims to give all young people aged 16-24 the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, education, training or volunteering.
Employers are asked to pledge to support the five key points of the Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG). The University will support the scheme with the following themes:
- Preparing young people for the world of work through work experience and mentoring opportunities.
- Investing in a skilled workforce through creating employment and training opportunities with foundation and modern apprenticeships and creating learning pathways with industry employers.
- Creating an inclusive workforce by being a Living Wage employer, the Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy and Action Plan and staff experience surveys.
The University was one of the first in Scotland to sign up for the scheme in June 2022. While many of the University’s daily activities support the ethos of the YPG, the Scottish Government’s five asks are about stepping up as an employer, rather than as an educational institution, and creating future pathways to support young people at a time when they face challenges and barriers to work.
This year, the University made a further commitment to the YPG with the inclusion of student internships and work placements (creating jobs, volunteering and training opportunities).
One of the ways in which the University is meeting its pledge to prepare young people for the world of work is the Career Ready, a two-year programme aimed at high school students aged 15 to 18, that sits alongside their studies in S5 and S6. The aim is to champion young people’s social mobility and improve their career aspirations, by offering a unique insight into the world of work and bridging the gap between education and the workplace.
Mentors are carefully paired up with a student based on their interests and career aspirations, and support is provided by Career Ready in the form of training, toolkits and support on how to structure the work placement.
Meetings between mentors and students take place approximately every four to six weeks over two academic years, with a financial commitment of a four-week work placement (internship) which is organised by the mentor in June to July and paid for by the department (currently £6.20 p/h plus 12.07% holiday pay which may increase subject to any pay uplifts).
Sanya Kuslii from Drummond Community High School took part in the scheme. She said: “I wanted to develop and learn some skills, such as networking, presentation skills and
research skills, which I could then use in the future. I would really recommend it to anyone.”
James Saville, the University’s HR Director, said: “We are pleased to have renewed our commitment to the Young Person’s Guarantee for a further two years. The employer asks are about the University creating future pathways to support young people at a time when they face challenges and barriers to work.
“Many of our daily activities support the ethos of the YPG and we are proud to continue our work on areas such as career mentoring, supporting foundation and modern apprenticeships and Science Insights work experience.
“The University is brilliantly positioned to take part in the Career Ready programme as it is so broad; we have roles and careers for most people. I love the community feeling involved.”
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