Paul Carberry: Hitting gold helping young reach potential

AWARD recognises our work with youngsters, writes Paul Carberry

Since January 2007, Action for Children Scotland has supported more than 3,000 young people into work. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Investors in Young People has awarded Action for Children Scotland a gold award – its highest accreditation – for its commitment to supporting and employing young people.

Recently Action for Children Scotland was commended for our commitment to employing the young people we have supported through our service outreach. Investors in Young People awarded us a gold accreditation, recognising us as an organisation which fully supports vulnerable young people into work.

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Every year, Action for Children Scotland works with 14,000 children and young people. Not only do we listen and advocate on their behalf, we live by our values by making them a real and valued part of our organisation and recognise the importance of supporting young people across Scotland to reach their full potential.

Since January 2007, Action for Children Scotland has supported more than 3,000 young people into work including 93 young people that are now part of own our staff. For 2015-16, we had a target to recruit 20 young staff from services which we achieved. We are now seeking funding to increase this to 25 people ranging from Community Job Fund Scotland roles to full-time positions.

Investors in Young People reward and recognises employers who demonstrate excellence in recruiting and retaining young people while at the same time encouraging partners to begin working with young people.

They commended our “commitment to providing young staff with barriers to work with an employment opportunity” That’s something we take great pride in.

We find that that young staff who have previously been supported by our staff and services can truly relate to the young people we support today having experienced similar life journeys. Currently a number of former service users help deliver our range of employability programmes including Youth Build, Challenge and Moving On. Through these schemes we have supported young people into careers in construction and forestry and supported males released from Polmont Young Offenders into employment.

Some of these former offenders are now employed by our Moving On service. In their role as mentors, they play a big part in the project’s success with 85 per cent of ex-offenders we work with not returning to prison within two years, well up on the national average.

Through investing in our young people, we provide the necessary support to enable them to flourish and grow into confident individuals while providing them with a voice to influence change. We thank our partner organisations including Inspiring Scotland, The Robertson Trust, the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, Police Scotland, STV and the Hunter Foundation for their support.

Action for Children Scotland works with more than 14,000 children, young people, parents and carers each year. With over 80 services across Scotland, we are in communities where you live and work. We help transform the lives of thousands of children and young people each year and we’ve been doing so for 60 years.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @actnforchildren

• Paul Carberry, director of children’s services at Action for Children Scotland