Scotland's exam results day: Whatever you get, there is #NoWrongPath to success – Sandy Begbie, Scottish Financial Enterprise

With many businesses facing skill shortages, they have an interest in the helping the young generation fulfil their potential

With students across the nation receiving their results today, the significance of recruiting young people into the workforce becomes even more apparent. As school and college leavers embark on an exciting journey, businesses have a unique opportunity to recognise their potential and contribute to their development.

The #NoWrongPath Campaign is an inspiring movement that has gained momentum across Scotland in recent years. Spearheaded by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), this campaign aims to highlight the various pathways available to young people after receiving their exam results. The campaign emphasises that regardless of the individual's academic outcomes, there is no wrong path to success.

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Many prominent figures in Scotland have actively participated in the #NoWrongPath Campaign, sharing their personal stories and experiences. These testimonials include successful entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and professionals from diverse industries like financial and professional services. Their stories showcase how different journeys and decisions can lead to fulfilling and prosperous careers, instilling confidence in young people and reassuring them that success comes in many forms.

By embracing the spirit of the #NoWrongPath Campaign, businesses in Scotland can contribute to this positive narrative by offering opportunities to young talent, irrespective of their academic background. Whether it's through entry-level positions or apprenticeship programs, providing platforms for young people to start their careers can lead to the discovery of hidden talents and untapped potential.

This campaign resonates with the broader framework of the Young Person's Guarantee and the DYW’s work where we believe it’s a team effort to support young people to prepare for the world of work. Through DYW, employers can provide inspirational opportunities for young people to help them understand and develop the skills they need to succeed.

The campaign also reinforces that businesses have a crucial role in shaping the future workforce, recruiting young people is not just an act of social responsibility but a strategic investment in the future of Scottish businesses. Embracing the potential of young people is a pathway to business success in Scotland's evolving economic and skills policy landscape.

As businesses actively participate in recruiting young people and providing them with pathways for growth and development, they contribute to reducing skills gaps and nurturing a skilled, adaptable, and diverse workforce. Embracing school engagement, supporting all young people to achieve their potential, providing apprenticeships and creating jobs and training opportunities can lead to a strong pipeline of talent for organisations and foster a culture of learning and innovation.

Many young people will be waking up to the results of important exams today (Picture: David Davies/PA)Many young people will be waking up to the results of important exams today (Picture: David Davies/PA)
Many young people will be waking up to the results of important exams today (Picture: David Davies/PA)

Many industries and sectors in Scotland face skill shortages, where there's a gap between the skills required for specific roles and the available workforce. Young people offer a diverse range of perspectives, shaped by their unique experiences and backgrounds. Nurturing a diverse talent pipeline with the support of DYW and recruiting young people from diverse backgrounds is not just a matter of social responsibility; it also makes good economic sense. Embracing diversity can lead to a stronger and more resilient economy while addressing skills shortages and ensuring that businesses are better equipped to thrive in our rapidly changing world.

In financial services, for example, we estimate the sector will need up to 50,000 roles in the next three years. Accessing diverse talent is a key priority that will help us fill vacancies in key growth areas like technology, driving our future innovation and growth.

Scottish results day offers a timely reminder of the potential and promise of the young generation. Businesses that actively engage in recruiting and supporting young people play a vital role in creating a brighter future for both individuals and the Scottish economy.

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By getting involved in the #NoWrongPath Campaign, the Young Person's Guarantee and DYW, businesses can make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of young people, helping them thrive and contributing to the growth and success of their organisations and Scotland as a whole. Look out for my #NoWrongPath.

Sandy Begbie CBE FRSE is chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise and chair of Developing the Young Workforce

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