Scottish Government
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Making young people your business

Week of events to highlight opportunities in Scotland’s digital sector.

Scotland’s ICT and digital technologies sector will be urged to make young people their business all next week (beginning March 10).

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance will lead activity over the course of the week, which will also include Scottish Government investment in the sector.

Ms Constance and other Ministers will meet young employees and trainees as well as discussing the benefits of taking on young men and women with employers covering a range of specialisms.

Speaking at an e-Skills event at Glasgow Caledonian University, Ms Constance said:

“My consistent message to employers has been that recruiting young people and growing your own talent is not just the right thing for employers to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Most unemployed young men and women are eager to work, ready to work and mean business.

“Last summer I led a high profile themed week of events – Make Young People Your Business Week – aimed at demonstrating precisely that, which went some way to raising awareness amongst employers. But this week will be very specific to the ICT and digital technologies sector, where young people can also bring expertise and innovative approaches which the older workforce may not be able to offer.

“We need to address the fact that young women are not being attracted to the high value jobs available across the economy in these areas and this is something that I’ll be covering throughout the week – tech jobs are not just for boys. .

“Even in these tough economic times, investing in young employees makes good business sense. This is backed up by employer surveys which show that, when companies are asked why they recruit young people, the top two reasons are growing our own workforce and to build up a talent pipeline. In the digital technologies sector, in particular, young employees are arguably more closely attuned to the target marketing age group for many of the products and services.

“Top ICT and digital technologies companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and BT are investing in Modern Apprentices (MAs) to help meet their skills needs and I hope this week highlights the benefits of such action to even more employers in the sector.”

e-Skills Scotland manager Michael Kowbel added:

"Scottish employers are crying out for talented and enthusiastic youngsters to fill a wide range of tech jobs, It's great to have the opportunity to showcase these roles to students here at Glasgow Caledonian University, and to school students from across Glasgow. We want to show them that there are interesting, well paid and worthwhile opportunities in a fast-growing sector - and it's particularly pleasing that former Glasgow Caledonian University students, who are now making their careers in technology, are coming back to pass on their experience."

Notes to editors

Make Young People Your Business Week runs from March 10-14 and will include the following events:

  • March 10 Minister for Youth Employment meets BT digital apprentices in Glasgow
  • March 10 Minister for Children and Young People meets young people learning coding at Glasgow Science Centre
  • March 11 First Minister launches the Skills Investment Plan for ICT and digital technologies in Edinburgh
  • March 12 Minister for Children and Young People attends IT workshop at Royal High School hosted by Oracle
  • March 13 Minister for Youth Employment attends Microsoft MA ambassadors event in Edinburgh
  • March 14 Minister for Learning visits Oxgangs Primary School, Edinburgh.

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