THE global economic downturn has undoubtedly impacted on every one of us. However, much of the evidence suggests young people have borne the brunt of this crisis, with youth unemployment reaching record levels.
This week, the Scottish Government has launched a campaign to involve businesses more in the recruitment and training of young people. Naturally, we support this initiative, and the many projects that are now being implemented across the country to get young people into work.
Now, more than ever, young people are entering the workplace with untapped entrepreneurial spirit which, as business leaders, we must all recognise and unlock.
At Grant Thornton UK LLP, we have thrown our support behind the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which has been created to train and equip young rising stars with the skills they need to enter business and excel.
Time and again, our research has highlighted that young people and entrepreneurs are key to creating growth in Scotland. Creating new small businesses, creating jobs and creating confidence are essential to creating a new, more sustainable and international economy.
When it comes to restoring business and consumer confidence, it is clear we are not completely out of the woods. Scotland and, indeed, the wider UK are exposed to the ongoing instability within the eurozone. Further afield, the country faces the challenge of proving itself against the growing dominance of the BRIC countries and other rapidly developing nations.
What is clear is that Scotland is starting to find its international business voice. As a nation, our business leaders have responded well to global uncertainty by working more collaboratively to drive sustainable economic restoration and growth. Partnership working has created a positive climate for start-ups and the business leaders of tomorrow to flourish.
It’s imperative that we now all focus on making the most of the entrepreneurial spark within the country. Young people are an often untapped asset and will ultimately be the driving force behind the success of Scotland’s future economy.
• Sandra Rodger is a Partner-Assurance at Grant Thornton UK LLP