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Vulnerable Groups Written Answer, 27/03/13 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Ken Macintosh's (Lab) question asking the Scottish Government what measures it has taken to improve the (a) employment and training prospects and (b) health and wellbeing of (i) care leavers and (ii) people with learning difficulties since 2007.

The Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, replied that the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that vulnerable groups of people are given the support they need to overcome barriers, enabling them to reach their full potential.

To support young people into work, the Government has:

  • Made a specific commitment to all 16 to 19 year olds seeking a place in education or training through Opportunities for All, supported by £30 million new investment; updated the Post-16 Transitions Policy and Practice Framework which includes specific guidance on how to support the transitions of young people with additional support needs from school into post-school education and employment;
  • Provided £1.5 million over three financial years in support of an Employer Recruitment Incentive for 1,000 young people within disadvantaged groups;
  • Extended the Community Jobs Scotland programme to help vulnerable young people by increasing the age criteria from 16-19 to 16-24.
  • Published the Supported Employment Framework In 2010, “A Working Life for All Disabled People” to support a disabled person’s transition to employment;
  • Arranged an action forum hosted by the Minister for Youth Employment in April 2013 focusing on young people with additional support needs;
  • Allocated £2.7 million to develop a new strategy document to help to close the inequality gap that people with learning disabilities continue to face on a daily basis;
  • and introduced the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 which places education authorities under a duty to identify, plan and review the support they provide for pupils in their area.
In relation to health and wellbeing, work taken forward since 2007 includes:

  • Publishing the document, “Equally Well” in June 2008, which made recommendations to improve health and life outcomes for particularly vulnerable groups. The Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities has been reconvened to review new evidence, look at lessons learned and highlight new areas for attention;
  • Hosting a learning disability health inequalities network where all NHS boards come together to work together on addressing the health inequalities that people with learning disabilities face. £500,000 of Scottish Government funding was allocated to assist NHS boards to tackle this;
  • Issuing a letter to health board chief executives setting out their responsibilities in relation to looked after children and asking them to appoint a director who will have responsibility for the health needs of all looked after children, young people and care leavers in their area (CEL 16 (2009));
  • and convening a short life working group to develop a set of national recommendations for the health assessment of looked after children, young people and care leavers. This group will report in autumn 2013.
For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 27 March 2013 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 27 March 2013