CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak's £2 billion fund for youth unemployment initiatives for under-25s is very welcome ("Chancellor’s £2bn lifeline for Britain’s unemployed young people", The Herald, July 8). However, how it is used is important. In the 1980s when youth unemployment was enormous, the Youth Opportunity Programme (YOP) and Youth Training Schemes (YTS) tried to solve this problem. Regrettably, too many employers saw this as a source of cheap labour, and did not deliver any meaningful work or training for future employment, dumping young people back on the dole and taking on another free worker, in their place.

Hopefully, we can learn from past mistakes, and create an approach for youth unemployment that is fit for purpose. We need to harness the energy, intelligence, free-thinking ingenuity, idealism and integrity of young people to create better ways of working in the future. Our governments talk a good game about future jobs being created in conservation, climate change, rewinding the land, clearing up plastic pollution, planting millions of trees, retro fitting insulation in homes and support for small enterprise.

We need a dynamic scheme to support young people in transition from education to work that uses their skillsets to address major flaws in our society, such as climate change, homelessness, care for the old. the disabled and the vulnerable, the arts, creative youth-led social business and leisure. Computer-literate young people know how to harness the social media for the common good. Funding for all youth services which could address, knife crime; serious mental health of children and young people, and lack of exercise leading to obesity, has been cut to the bone. Some money should be directed to them that.

Scotland has a strong track record in creatively supporting young people, which we can learn from. In 1979, the Young Scot national youth information project took on 20 16-18-year-olds from the YOP scheme and set them loose to research what was the information needs of young people. The result was the first Young Scot Book given free to every secondary school pupil. It was so successful that it then spread to the whole of Europe. The spin-off was phenomenal. All of the YOPers ended up either in further education, found a job or were inspired to go off and do their own thing; setting up businesses, volunteering or travelling. Young Scot then tried to multiply up this success story, creating the Youth Enquiry Service (YES). It set up more than 150 youth information cafes, run by young people for young people across the land. One spin-off was young people developed award-winning health education materials, and delivered thousands of workshops to teens on smoking, alcohol, drugs and metal health.

The number of young lives that were turned around was amazing.

If we are serious about addressing the youth unemployment crisis, let's use our resources to trust young people to solve the problems.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow G12.

THE Chancellor's Statement today (July 8) included some interesting schemes attempting to secure employment. One of those initiatives mentioned was an increase in "work coaches" at JobVCntres. Very commendable, but as SNP MP Chis Stephens highlighted, for this to be of any benefit, the Chancellor would have had to announce the suspension of the JobCentre closure programme. The statement also included a glaring omission – that of any mention of the future cliff-edge that is Brexit, despite the fact that the Rishi Sunak's short-term employment incentives will be running alongside Brexit trade-deal negotiations. We must go forward taking all aspects of future employment prospects into consideration and Brexit is one aspect that will have employment consequences for the country.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.