Youth at work

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We were delighted to see Scottish Government proposals to cut youth unemployment by 40 per cent in the next seven years as outlined in its youth employment strategy (your report, 16 
December).

Unemployment among young Scots accounts for almost half the country’s jobless total and nearly one fifth of youngsters are unemployed. A culture shift is required, moving away from academic subjects towards skills directly relevant to getting a job through greater emphasis on vocational training in schools.

Forging links between schools, colleges and employers, as recommended by Sir Ian Wood in his commission earlier this year and highlighted in this strategy, is therefore exactly the right way to go.

As pupils who have just completed a work placement with the Scottish Government, tailored specifically for those with additional support needs, we believe this approach is to be applauded, equipping us with experience of the world of work.

We would also encourage employers to take on those with additional support needs or risk missing out on a massive pool of talented individuals.

If we are to achieve this ambitious target to cut youth unemployment it will require not only the public sector but also more crucially employers to step up to the mark and fully play their part.

Ross McElvenny 16

Kieran Cruden 16

Falkland House School

Fife