Colleges in Scotland are to benefit from £10 million as part of the Young Person’s Guarantee.
This funding is part of the £60 million announced by the Scottish Government in November 2020 to implement the Young Person’s Guarantee. The guarantee was created to protect young people from the economic impact of Covid19 and, over the next two years, it aims to give all young people the chance to succeed through a job, apprenticeship, education, training or volunteering.
Through this funding West Lothian College is offering a new suite of courses to young people from February to July.
Four Accelerator HNCs in Accounting, Cyber Security, Marketing Communications, and Social Sciences will allow young people to achieve a full time higher education qualification in just five months.
Skills Boosts, short training courses in areas like Childcare, Health and Social Care, Storage and Warehousing, Customer Care and Business, will help connect young people to job opportunities.
West Lothian College pledged support for the Young Person’s Guarantee when it was launched in November, but during the first lockdown last year it had already started planning what more it could do to help young people.
One of the ideas the college came up with was the Skills Boost, a short burst of training to connect people to jobs in industry sectors that were recruiting. A collaboration between Edinburgh, Fife, Forth Valley and West Lothian Colleges developed this idea further, along with Accelerator HNCs. Both are now being rolled out in all colleges across Scotland.
Connor McLeod, a student on West Lothian College’s Accelerator HNC Accounting, said:
“I decided to apply for this accelerated qualification because it will allow me to go straight into the second year of a university course. I am the first in my immediate family that will be going to university and this course will provide me with the skillset to pursue a prosperous future.”
Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College, said:
“The funding for the Young Person’s Guarantee is great news. With it, colleges like West Lothian can offer new courses to young people that enhance their qualifications and skills.
“In addition to the Skills Boosts and Accelerator HNCs, we are offering Pathway Apprenticeships which are six-month work-based courses that give young people a chance to fast track into paid apprenticeships.
“As well as supporting the guarantee through our courses, we have pledged to support the guarantee as an employer. We will be recruiting apprentices where we can, providing work experience opportunities to young people, and offering six-month paid work placements at the college through the Kickstart scheme.”
Scottish Government Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“During this crisis we have taken action to support young people who have been some of the hardest by the pandemic. Since November, the Young Person’s Guarantee has created around 18,000 opportunities for people aged between 16 and 24 to help them into work, education or training. This new college provision is a key part of that work, supporting our future workforce to gain valuable skills and experience and support a strong economic recovery for Scotland.”
Places are still available on the new Accelerator HNCs and Skills Boosts. Apply now at https://www.west-lothian.ac.uk/news-events/latest-news/have-you-been-impacted-financially-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/.