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Government 'shares ambitions' of young worker report

The Scottish Government has given the strongest hint so far that it plans to implement Sir Ian Wood's recently published report into developing the country's young workforce, but it has not so far costed the implementation of the report's 39 recommendations.

Wood's hard-hitting report, published earlier this month, concluded the educational system is failing half of youngsters, particularly those not academically inclined.

It proposed improving work experience programmes and vocational training to cut youth ­unemployment - which currently stands at 18.8% for those age 16 to 24 - by 40% by 2020.

Ahead of an announcement to Parliament on Tuesday setting out the Government's initial response to the report, Angela Constance, ­cabinet secretary for training and youth employment, told the Sunday Herald the Government would provide funding to review the support available to train and employ young people.

"The Scottish Government shares the scale of ambition set out in the Developing Scotland's Young Workforce report," Constance said.

"More and more businesses are recognising that a skilled and diverse young workforce is key to their long-term success, but we recognise the concerns raised by the business community that the support landscape is complex and needs to be clearly signposted."

The Scottish Government has so far set aside £12 million to tackle youth unemployment but Constance would not be drawn on whether she agrees with estimates that implementing the Wood report would cost between £10m and £15m a year over three years. Nor did she say how much public money would be made available.

Shortly after the report was published, Wood told the Sunday Herald he did not expect funding to be a major obstacle to implementing the report's recommendations.

The Scottish Government is expected to publish its full response to the report in the autumn.

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Local government

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