Looming care leaver jobs crisis requires ‘Family Firm’ approach to Youth Guarantee

46 per cent of care leavers already not in work, education or training pre-COVID-19

Staf CEO Jo Derrick has welcomed plans for a Youth Guarantee and called on the Scottish Government to create a national ‘Family Firm’ to drive action across the public sector to ensure care leavers can fully benefit. 

It has been estimated that youth unemployment could rise to 20 per cent as a result of COVID-19. However, for care leavers 46 per cent were known to not be in education, employment or training pre-COVID-19.

A national ‘Family Firm’ could sit within the Youth Guarantee, co-ordinating work across the public, private and third sectors to support care leavers into employment. With over 500,000 people working in Scotland’s devolved public sector, there is enormous potential within the sector to create opportunities for young people.

Staf has written to Sandy Begbie CBE, who is leading on the development of the Youth Guarantee implementation plan for the Scottish Government, calling for the creation of national leadership group to coordinate this work. This group would sit alongside the six ‘economic region’ groups recommended in Mr Begbie’s report, be chaired by a Scottish Government Minister and have representation from care-experienced young people.

Staf CEO Jo Derrick said:

 “We very much welcome plans for a Youth Guarantee in Scotland. If we get it right this initiative has the potential to significantly mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economic prospects of our young people.

 “With a potential increase in youth unemployment to 20 per cent, we are concerned that this impact will be most keenly felt by care leavers who are already furthest from the job market.

 “A national ‘Family Firm’ approach could draw on the success of local initiatives to harness the job creation power of Scotland’s public sector and coordinate efforts in the private and third sector. Importantly, it must be co-produced with care-experienced young people.

 “Through our Care Leavers Into Employment Focus Group Staf is well placed to support this work and to play our part in responding to the crisis and building back better for care leavers.”