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Young people will be guaranteed education, training or work, Sturgeon says

By PA News

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Everyone in Scotland aged between 16 and 24 will be guaranteed a place in education, training or employment, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The Youth Guarantee policy was one of the pledges in the First Minister’s Programme for Government released on Tuesday.

The legislative programme set out a “national mission to create new, high-quality, green jobs”, she said.

A green jobs fund worth £100 million over the next five years will be invested in various industries to promote employment, the First Minister added.

Further proposals include a £25 million training transition fund for those who have lost their jobs and increasing a workforce training fund for employers to £20 million.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Central to our programme is a Youth Guarantee – a new partnership with Scotland’s employers, backed by £60 million of Government investment, to guarantee everyone aged 16 to 24 a job, a place in education or a place in training.

“We are also earmarking £10 million to help employers recruit and retain apprentices.

“This will include incentives to take on apprentices who have been made redundant.”

The Programme for Government document states: “Every young person aged between 16 and 24 will be guaranteed an opportunity at university or college, an apprenticeship programme, employment including work experience, or participating in a formal volunteering programme.”

An implementation plan for the Youth Guarantee is due to be set out by the Economy Secretary on Wednesday.

Richard Leonard said ‘we have heard these promises before’ (Jane Barlow/PA)
Richard Leonard said ‘we have heard these promises before’ (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard asked the First Minister about the green jobs fund in the Scottish Parliament.

He said his party would welcome many of the proposals in the Programme for Government.

Mr Leonard said: “The First Minister has today promised a plan for new green jobs.

“But we have heard these promises before repeatedly, meanwhile multimillion-pound contracts go overseas and less than a third of the jobs promised materialise.”

The First Minister responded that making sure Scotland enjoyed the benefits of renewable projects was an “uphill struggle” due to powers being reserved to Westminster.

She said: “If Richard Leonard wants to will the ends of something he has to also will the means and I look forward to having his support for these arguments in future.”

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