The ScotSectorlink initiative
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ScotSectorlink works to show the economic and employment impact of trading goods and services, and to support policies which enable young people to play a role in the UK economy. The conversations highlighted here illustrate how even motivated potential entrepreneurs, when pushed too soon into self-employment, face severe hurdles in harnessing their energies and skills. Young people see their older friends and siblings being shunted into sole trading for negligible or no take home pay, so then into the welfare/poverty trap. This is having a seriously adverse impact on the efforts of schools.
Teaching and learning in school can help young people to get meaningful work but this is in the light of a fundamentally altered labour market where there are three significant related changes. One is reduced recruitment by public bodies because of public spending cuts. The second is greater dependence on private sector jobs, but at a time of changing demand and potential. The third change is the beginning of a preference to produce in the UK rather than to import. This is important for education as it should boost the commercial need for local workers and thus stimulate the UK labour market.

Young people will learn about the world of business and work by producing resources in the ScotSectorlink process that look at what goods and services are offered by the private and independent sectors, and by social enterprises whose workers earn their living by trading. Teaching and learning could be informed by school projects which generate banks of such resources. These would need to be updated and replaced over time – and mirror labour market trends - as businesses closed or were formed or because of other external developments.

Young Scots are not alone. ScotSectorlink notes the work of UNICEF whose resources and information are available to users of this site and its materials.

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