New qualification proves teens’ skills

YounG people from Scotland will be better equipped to find work thanks to an new qualification for 16 to 19 year-olds.

The Certificate of Work Readiness will help young people in Scotland to prove their skills to potential employers, helping them to find work and ensuring that employers can be confident they are hiring people with the skills they need.

The certificate has been developed in partnership with Scotland’s business community and will only be awarded following assessment by a young person’s employer.

To qualify for the certificate, 16 to 19 year-olds will take part in college-based learning time and also complete 190 hours of real life work experience.

Recent figures show that in the space of a year Scotland achieved a 6.8 per cent reduction in youth unemployment, with Scotland’s rate of youth unemployment running at 16.1 per cent compared to the UK rate of 20.6 per cent and Scotland’s youth employment rate of 56.7 per cent is higher than the UK rate of 49.7 per cent.

Nigel Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns said: “There is no doubt that Scotland is making significant strides in tackling youth unemployment, with the figures showing that Scotland is outperforming the UK in this area.

“That progress has only been achieved through hard work and innovation, which is why it is essential that we continue to find new approaches and make further progress.

“This certificate will help young people in Scotland to build up the skills and experience they need to find work and will provide employers with proof of their ability and readiness to work.

“It will ensure that when an employer takes on somebody with this certificate, they are hiring someone who has the practical skills that are so essential to succeeding in the job market.

“This is an exciting new innovation and I am optimistic that it will help Scotland to achieve further progress on tackling youth unemployment in the months and years ahead.”

Companies and organisations who endorse the certificate include: Skills Council for Admin, CBI Scotland, FSB Scotland, SCDI, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Diageo, Scottish Power, Burn Stewart Distillers, Scottish Football League and YouthLink Scotland.