Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has called on the Scottish Government to urgently confirm the allocation of future funding for regional Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) groups, whose annual funding allocation, due to end on March 31, is yet to be renewed.
DYW groups support young people in entering the world of work, providing them with important careers education and opportunities to connect with employers and training opportunities.
These groups operate through a year-on-year funding model, which must be renewed by the Scottish Government annually in order to continue. As a result of this, DYW staff operate on temporary contracts with limited job security. The current lack of confirmation of a 2023/24 funding grant means that regional DYW staff do not know whether their organisations’ important work, or their own employment, will continue beyond the end of this month.
Commenting on this, Mr McArthur said:
“The local Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) team do excellent work here in Orkney, supporting young people to transition from education into the workplace. However, the ongoing uncertainty over future funding and the precarious nature of the current funding model are putting at risk a programme that delivers real benefits in communities across the country. It puts staff in an impossible position and undermines their efforts to support young people at a key stage in their lives.
“I’ve seen first-hand what the DYW team deliver in Orkney, not least through their highly successful careers fairs at the Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall, which offered over 800 young people and adults connections with a wide range of employers.
“As a matter of urgency, Scottish Ministers must confirm funding for next year. It is also crucial, however, that the Scottish Government looks again at the funding model for these schemes. If Ministers expect employers to commit for the long term, they need to be prepared to do the same themselves.”