Multi-million-pound plan to inspire youth
TENS of millions of pounds will be poured into a new approach to getting Scotland's 32,000 unemployed teenagers into work.
In what is claimed to be a world first, cash from the public, private and voluntary sectors will be pooled to provide "venture philanthropy", as part of a scheme dubbed "Inspiring Scotland".
The Scottish Government has committed 9 million over three years to kick-start a fund for projects that aim to engage school-leavers aged from 16 to 19, who are not in education, employment or training.
Although about half of such youngsters go on to become productive, the remainder often condemn themselves to a life of low-paid work and ill health. Youth unemployment is estimated to cost 8 million a week in benefits and lost earnings.
The new approach, developed by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, is said to be a new way of delivering long-term funding to the voluntary sector. Developed in Australia, the United States and Europe, it aims to provide long-term, targeted funding for the voluntary sector.
Backers say this eases a major problem with the present system, in which charities get only short-term funding that ties them up in red tape while hampering their ability to make extended plans.
Andrew Muirhead, the chief executive of the foundation, said: "Inspiring Scotland is an exciting new way of using money and skills to improve the lives of Scotland's most vulnerable people.
"We are working with a wide range of investors, all driven by a desire for social change."
Lloyds TSB Scotland has committed 500,000 annually for the next three years.
Fiona Hyslop, the education secretary at Holyrood, said: "Too many young people in recent years have not been given the opportunity to succeed in Scotland.
"We need to find better ways to give these young people more chances and more choices to obtain work, training or continuing education."
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