Dumfries and Galloway Local Employability and Skills Partnership (DGLEP) and The Galloway Glens Scheme have launched a report which will help employability services to support young people and their employers in the region.
Sleeping Giants, a local social enterprise which was commissioned to lead the project, heard from young people about their aspirations and experiences of the workplace and from employers about employing young people and the Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG) support they receive.
The Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG) is a commitment to bring together employers, partners and young people. It aims to connect every 16-24 year old in Scotland with an opportunity – this could be a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training or volunteering.
The research looked at ways more young people can gain the skills and experience they need to reach their goals and make a good life for themselves. It will help to find out how best to match young people with employment, training, volunteering and educational opportunities that will help them build the life they want, as well as what support employers need to recruit young people into the region’s workforce.
The report, called Opening Doors, is available here: https://www.sleeping-giants.org.uk/uploads/1/3/7/0/137055108/ypg_report_final.pdf.
Findings included the fact that young people and employers are keen to interact more with each other through school and other employability services. Non-academic career paths, such as apprenticeships and vocational training, were also highlighted as important across the board. While employers appreciated the enthusiasm and skills in things such as IT and social media that young people could bring to their businesses, young people particularly valued the encouragement they received from third sector support organisations and apprenticeship programmes, along with strong relationships with staff in the workplace.
“It was really beneficial to be able to talk to a wide range employers and young people in the region who shared their experiences with us. We heard lots of stories of things that are working well, as well as suggestions and recommendations to make things better in the future, such as clearer recruitment processes and creating opportunities for young people and employers to come together to design services that work for everyone,” Lesley Sloan, DGLEP Partnerships Officer, said.
Chair of the Local Employability Partnership, Councillor David Inglis said, “This work is invaluable and will help us make a positive difference to our workforce.”
Jan Hogarth, Galloway Glens Education and Community Engagement Officer added, “As the Galloway Glens Scheme comes to an end, we are pleased to have been involved in something that will make a lasting difference. Our young people are such an asset to the region and it’s important that we make the workplace a positive environment for them.”
The Galloway Glens Scheme is an initiative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment team, seeking to ‘connect people to our heritage’, boost the local economy and support sustainable communities. The Galloway Glens Scheme is funded by a range of partners including The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Drax, the owners of the Galloway Hydro Scheme.
The Galloway Glens Scheme has separately previously published a report giving an overview of the Intern Programme it has been supporting, available here: https://gallowayglens.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Galloway-Glens-Intern-Programme-Overview-Findings-FINAL.pdf.