A new event that aims to bring hope and positive ideas into the lives of Scotland’s young people is being held in Glasgow this week.
And one of the key messages is that Scotland can still offer them a bright future and there are people here to help.
With thousands of young people increasingly unsure about their prospects because of rising youth unemployment, the two-day Futures Fest in George Square will give 16 to 25-year-olds from all walks of life a glimpse of what they can achieve right here in Scotland.
Organised by Scotcampus, Scotland’s national student magazine, the free exhibition – this Friday, April 27 and Saturday, the 28th – is expecting at least 10,000 young people to attend and to learn what options are available as they seek to make important choices about their lives.
The 50-plus exhibitors expected will consist of businesses from numerous relevant sectors including educational bodies, professional services and charities.
The British Army, Citizens Advice Bureau, Skills Development Scotland, The Open University, Strathclyde Police, the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority,) Job Centre Plus, Glasgow Regeneration Agency, Scottish Institute for Enterprise and the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust are all taking part.
There will be a strong focus on recruitment and apprenticeships with a presence from the rapidly expanding renewable and gaming sectors alongside more traditional industries.
Unlike more conventional ‘jobs fairs’ the organisers say the event will be fun and interactive, more relaxed and informal – and this means exhibitors should be able to engage attendees much more easily.
“There’s so much negativity surrounding life for young people in the UK, but we think Scotland is a great place to live and that it’s still full of amazing opportunities,” said Graeme Barratt, Scotcampus founder and Futures Fest organiser.
“One of the things we hear from the businesses we work with is that they maybe have relevant positions and services but can’t target younger people effectively.
“Futures Fest will really highlight just how many options there are out there.
“Not everybody chooses to go to university but that shouldn’t mean they can’t achieve what they want to in life. On the flip side, many graduates feel they have to move further afield for work after they leave further education.
“There’s so much here for them to get excited about and we just want to kick that off by showcasing some of the careers, colleges and universities that can be found in Scotland.”
Ronnie Davidson, Chair, Institute of Career Guidance in Scotland, is among organisations that specialise in supporting young people and helping them achieve their lifestyle goals.
“We are really excited to be supporting the Futures Fest,” he said.
“Our members are some of Scotland’s top career professionals and we are passionate about helping young people to achieve their potential. This is exactly the kind of place we want to be”.
The Futures Fest takes place on Glasgow’s George Square on Friday, April 27 and on Saturday, April 28, from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm both dates.