Against a backdrop of the current cost of living crisis, the ripple effects still being felt from Covid and the continued political uncertainty across the country, it’s no wonder that parents are feeling the financial pinch now, more than ever.  

Parental employment opportunities are untapped, their potential is unrealised, and the resources to support parents have often been underfunded, or too often non-existent. Which is why we, as an organisation, are hopeful of change with the introduction of more dedicated Scottish Government funding and support packages for parental employability programmes.  

The Parent Club employability programme is a huge step forward in support and opportunities for parents across Scotland. Dedicated resource and funding will provide much-needed pathways to parents who often find themselves unemployed or "under-employed" – meaning their hourly rate or working hours don’t reflect their full capacity to work and earn.  

By tapping into parents' true employment and earnings potential, we can curb the child poverty pandemic currently gripping Scottish young people. Providing appropriate support through the likes of All in Dundee, All in Aberdeenshire and All in Angus, we are able to place parents back into roles where their true economic potential is realised, benefiting both parent and family alike.  

Through the ENABLE Works-led programmes in Dundee, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Angus, we are able to upskill parents within their current roles, find them entry-level roles or provide a complete career change for those aspiring towards that.  

We are proud to be able to provide a far-reaching and easily accessible service for parents across Scotland, one that puts them back in the driving seat of their careers and earning potential. 

And, while this is a great start, we need to continue the momentum and spread the breadth of services to every corner of Scotland. We need to make sure funding support is continued, we need to make sure support services are easy to access for parents and carers, and we need to make sure we are placing parents in long-term sustainable employment.  

All in Dundee is a trailblazing programme for this type of work. It currently operates the largest consortium model in Scotland to provide parents with any barrier to employment who is upskilling or moving jobs a gateway for support. The model has nine partners from a local and national level including Barnardo’s, Access to Industry and HELM Training, and to date has supported over 205 parents to better their employability.  

By the end of this year, we want to be supporting considerably more parents across Scotland, building on this year-on-year as we enter 2024 and beyond. We need the continued support of the Scottish Government and our partners in the third sector to create seamless pathways to employment for the parents of Scotland.  

Ashley Ryan is Director at ENABLE Works