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30/08/13 12:02

Football clubs supporting young people

1600 apprentices through Scottish clubs in the last ten years.

Scotland’s football clubs are making young people their business as part of a week of activity to support young people into employment.

Scottish football has seen more than 1600 Modern Apprenticeships in the last ten years, with £650,000 also announced this week to help clubs continue with youth employment opportunities.

On a visit to Dundee United FC, Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games Shona Robison and Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe FitzPatrick met some of the club’s young volunteers and welcomed the contribution of Scottish football in supporting young people into jobs.

The club had particular praise for Scotland’s Best, part of the £5 million Legacy 2014 Young Persons' Fund which will provide 1,000 unemployed young people with the chance to gain valuable skills and experience to help them move into education, further training or employment.

Ms Robison said:

“Sport, no more so than football, is important to the whole of Scottish society and I am delighted to see that our football clubs have made a real effort to support our young people. So many footballing apprenticeships over the last ten years is a clear demonstration that clubs are keen to foster sporting talent for the future, but there are also off the field successes. Investing in developing the skills of young people in the community helps them to succeed in a career, whether it’s in football or a different vocation.

“As well as our legacy funding, we have provided a total of £650,000 to the Scottish Professional Football League to help clubs within the Scottish Professional Football League create new opportunities to participate in sport, become community hubs and continue with youth employment and training initiatives. Seeing some of these young people in action assures me that they have a bright future and are prepared for the world of work.”

Mr FitzPatrick added:

“Make Young People Your Business Week has been about enabling employers to do more to help Scotland’s young people find employment. Dundee United is one of many clubs across the country that is doing their bit and I’m sure the good example they set will encourage other employers who do not yet have a strong youth employment strategy.

“Tapping into the talents of Scotland’s young people is vital for economic growth. Let’s help them make the most of their potential.”

Dundee United Community Manager Gordon Grady also said:

"Scotland's Best is a great idea with mutual benefits. It gives the Club the opportunity to bring in volunteers as a resource to help with our community initiatives such as the Schools Development Project, the J League, the Still Game and the Football Fans In Training (FFIT) Programme. These ventures are all aimed at improving lifestyles and a more inclusive society for Scotland.

"In return the volunteers will leave here as more confident and experienced individuals with impressive credentials on their CVs to help them move towards continuing education, training and sustained employment.”

Notes to editors

Scotland's Best is an employability programme for 1,000 young people aged 16 to 24. It combines training and volunteering, with successful participants achieving a qualification at the end. Many of the volunteering opportunities will tap into sporting and cultural events that Scotland will host in the next two years (2013-15). Scotland's Best is the second part of the Scottish Government's £5 million Legacy 2014 Young Persons' Fund. It will provide unemployed young people with the chance to gain valuable skills and experience to help their move into education, further training or employment and will offer 1,000 places over two years. Young people can find out more about the programme, including eligibility criteria and how to get involved, on

Make Young People Your Business Week consists of a series of events and announcements aimed at raising awareness amongst employers of the economic value of taking on a young person. Interested employers can follow the Twitter account @MYPYB and the hashtag #newtalent will be used throughout the week.

Skills Development Scotland’s provides information to employers on the skills support available from the public sector in Scotland. The Make Young People Your Business area of the site brings together online advice to help employers recruit and develop young people.