Ian Wood to lead group tackling jobless Scots youth

Ian Wood will help to develop Rwanda's tea industry
Ian Wood will help to develop Rwanda's tea industry
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OIL and gas industry tycoon Sir Ian Wood is to head up a commission to help tackle Scotland’s chronic youth joblessness problem.

• Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report showing that the number of Scots aged under 25 who are out of work has doubled to 90,000 since 2008

• Sir Ian Wood recently retired as chairman of the Wood Group and will join business and education leaders in improving the readiness of young people for work

Sir Ian, who retired recently as chairman of the Wood Group, will join business, education leaders and trade union representatives to improve the readiness of young people for work.

“The worst experience a young person leaving school can have is to suddenly find the world out there doesn’t want them and thus it becomes a significant social as well as economic problem,” Sir Ian said.

“Through the work of the Commission, we hope to make a substantial difference to how school leavers can access training opportunities and ensure that training equips them with the skills they really need.

The group will look at routes into work after school and the success of programmes such as modern apprenticeships before making recommendations to enhance the current reform programmes next year.

It will bring forward clear recommendations next year on how to improve work-readiness, training, quality and employability of Scotland’s young workforce.

The Commission’s members include Sir Willie Haughey, Grahame Smith from the STUC, Michael David from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Linda McKay from Forth Valley College.

Youth employment minister Angela Constance said: “The individual members of the commission have already provided both inspiration and employment for thousands of young people. They are the right people to inspire a whole new generation of Scots and I await next year’s final report with interest.”