Invest in young people; Cumbernauld businesses are encouraged to employ young Scots

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 10:31 on 17 September 2013.
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Investors in People Scotland will run the programme.

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EMPLOYERS in Cumbernauld are being urged to consider the benefits of recruiting young people.

Businesses which take the time to employ and train young people are to be recognised after the Scottish Government unveiled £35,000 to pilot a new ‘Investors in People’ scheme.

Management specialists firm ‘Investors in People Scotland’ will develop and pilot the new award scheme, in a bid to help employers understand the potential benefits of recruiting young people, with the scheme also set to recognise businesses which have previously adopted and adhere to a strong youth policy.

Launched late last month as part of the ‘Make Young People Your Business Week’, Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance announced the new awards scheme.

 “In order to encourage more employers to make young people their business, we need to help them understand the benefits of offering opportunities to younger employees,” Ms Constance explained.

“A new award, delivered through Investors in People Scotland, will help sell the benefits to firms not yet fully aware of how their economic growth could be boosted by the addition of some new talent. It will also ensure those that have already taken steps to build up a young workforce, are properly recognised for doing so.”

The Minister made the announcement whilst of a visit to Standard Life’s Edinburgh offices, late last month.

Ms Constance added: “We have made significant progress in supporting more young people into jobs in the past eighteen months, through a range of policies taken forward by the Scottish Government and its partners. We need to take employers with us if we are to truly harness the skills and enthusiasm of Scotland’s young people for a prosperous economic future.”

Peter Russian, Chief Executive of Investor in People Scotland, said his firm’s new scheme would be an “obvious way” to bolster the Scottish economy.

He said: “Investors in People has already helped many organisations understand how they can make the most of people’s talents, and extending our expertise and support into the area of recruiting and developing young people is an obvious way in which we can contribute to the economic recovery in Scotland.”

Sandy Begbie, Group Operations Office, Standard Life added: “Standard Life is passionate about young people being given a chance to develop their potential and we were one of the first companies to sign up to Edinburgh Council’s Edinburgh Guarantee initiative. We have built on that by creating our own school leaver intern programme which has become much wider than just providing young people with a work experience opportunity. The interns benefit from a structured development plan and working in real roles which carry responsibility. The programme not only develops skills it builds the interns’ confidence in the working world, which is incredibly important.

“Our business and our people have also benefited. The positivity, creativity and perspective the young people bring is so important and we've unearthed some real stars. It is fast becoming a part of our talent pipeline and of the last wave of young people who joined us, the vast majority have stayed on in permanent roles or extended contracts, or have decided to head to university. They are real assets to our business.

“We are supportive of any initiative that gives employers the confidence to work with young people. We've experienced first-hand the benefits of employing young people and would encourage other businesses to do the same.”
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