University of Edinburgh: Supporting young people at heart of new scheme

The University has joined an initiative that aims to create learning and job opportunities for young people to help combat the impact of Covid-19.

Edinburgh is joining the University of Strathclyde as the first universities in Scotland to sign up to the Young Person’s Guarantee Scheme.

Launched in November 2020, the employer-led scheme is backed by the Scottish Government and aims to give all young people aged 16-24 improved access to employment and training.

Three school students around a microscope
Ongoing commitments
In signing up to the scheme, the University has made commitments to help prepare young people for the world of work.

As part of this, a two-year Career Ready Programme – aimed at senior year high school students who face barriers due to their socio-economic-cultural background – will give pupils additional support to make informed decisions about their future education and career.

University mentors help guide the high school students throughout the programme, focusing on different aspects of the mentee’s education or career path.

This summer, 11 pupils will complete a four-week placement in a range of departments across the University, including the Schools of History and Geosciences, the Finance Department and Edinburgh Global.

Employee experience
The University has also committed to looking at new ways to drive innovation and improve employee experience for all staff including young people as part of the Young Person’s Guarantee scheme.

This includes investing more resource into supporting managers to identify potential roles for Modern Apprentices and training to develop talented young staff.

Nurturing talent
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on young people, and we are pleased to support this initiative that aims to nurture their talent and improve their prospects. The Young Person’s Guarantee reflects many of our own ambitions to widen access for people to enter education and to grow STEM opportunities for underrepresented groups. We look forward to moving forward with this pledge, playing our part to support this important scheme.

James Saville
Director of HR, University of Edinburgh
STEM apprenticeships
Over the next year, the University aims to create more foundation and modern apprenticeships pathways and forge new partnerships with industry employers.

Examples may include pupils gaining experience at the University’s new tidal blade testing facility in Rosyth, Fife – known as FastBlade.

There are also plans to help accelerate STEM careers for young people through the Sciences Insight programme – an annual work experience initiative for S5 pupils.