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2 MILLION SCHOOL LEAVER PACKAGE

14th November 2009

School Leavers are to be given extra help in training for jobs as a result of additional funding from the Scottish Government.

2 million is being made available to fund 420 new places for young school leavers to learn skills in engineering, motor vehicle, warehousing/retail, IT and administration Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced today.

The school leavers will be offered training places to help them either move directly onto the Modern Apprenticeship programme or straight into further training or employment. The scheme will be managed by Skills Development Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Announcing the funding Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop said: "This Government is committed to doing everything that we can to help
people in this current economic climate and ScotAction is the Scottish Government's skills support package for providing real financial support to businesses and individuals through the recession.

"This Government is doing everything that is can to provide more choices and more chances to those who leave school at the first opportunity and I am passionate about improving the life chances of all young Scots and improving the destinations of this group is crucial.

"We already provide support to young people through our 16+ Learning Choices model but what I am announcing today is a specific programme of training school leavers, with provision available for winter leavers, to train in areas where we know there will be future jobs. It is important that we provide as many options as possible for young people who in the current economic climate may find it more difficult to naturally progress to formal education or training, especially in the current climate.

"Our whole economy has faced massive challenges over recent months. But the future success of the engineering, motor vehicle, warehousing/retail, IT and administration industries will be absolutely vital to our economic recovery. That is why we want to ensure that those entering the sector develop the necessary skills to succeed.

"People are our most valuable resource and I am determined to ensure that everyone in our society has the opportunity to make the most of their educational ability.

"This Government will do all that it can to help us recover from the current downturn and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to continue to contribute to Scotland's future economic success."

Damien Yeates, chief executive of Skills Development Scotland, said: "Young people are amongst the hardest hit by the current economic climate. It is vital that they get extra help in training for jobs right now. This programme is all about giving young people immediate, flexible support, access to building relevant employability skills and preparing
them for the jobs of the future."

The costs for the Targeted Pathways to Apprenticeships proposal for 2009/10 is 1.7 million with the balance of 300k to be spent in 2010/11. In addition to having the costs of the training paid all the young people will receive a 55 per week training allowance for the duration of the course.

This provision will provide up to 6 months training for individuals, courses will start as of 30 November 2009. This provision is in place for a limited period in order to provide additional support to young people during the downturn. SDS will closely monitor the initiatives performance.

There will be 2 aspects to this project-

(1) supporting VQ Level 2 - we would expect most of these young people will move directly into a Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 by summer 2010 and this will be delivered through group training associations for engineering only; and

(2) vocational training to assist young people into further training or employment who are not yet have the experience to undertake a Level 2 qualification.

ScotAction is an integrated package combining new and improved measures to help individuals and businesses through the recession and will provide skills assistance - including wage subsidies in some circumstances - for training for work, training in work and training from work to work to help Scottish people and businesses survive the
downturn and thrive when the economy starts to recover.

Through ScotAction, the Scottish Government has announced much support for the Apprenticeship Programme over the last few months. Info can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/scotaction

Skills Development Scotland, Scotland's national skills agency, will play a leading role in taking forward the delivery of the initiatives that ScotAction will deliver for Scotland at this time.

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