Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Employability debate 1

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson outlined the findings of the Finance Committee's report on improving employability , as he led the debate on the issue on 8 January 2013.

The committee convener praised the work of third sector organisations and welcomed Scottish government steps to endeavour to ensure there was more three year funding of them.

The Finance Committee's inquiry arose after MSPs took evidence on inequalities and socio-economic deprivation which led to MSPs agreeing to explore the need to improve the employability of individuals experiencing high levels of multiple deprivation as a prerequisite to increasing sustainable economic growth.

It looked at current initiatives on employability and took oral evidence on the issues preventing improving the situation for those seeking jobs from areas of multiple deprivation.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the issue of employability "resonates with the government agenda" and was essential in the move towards economic recovery.

Mr Swinney said he would consider the report's findings and recommendations "very carefully" over the coming weeks before officially responding in writing but added in principle the government found the report helpful.

He said it was vital to ensure that employability programmes must be designed in a fashion to fit the needs of the individual involved, adopting a person centred approach.

Scottish Labour's youth employment spokesperson Kezia Dugdale said there had been complaints and concerns from employers about the complexity of accessing employability initiatives and they should be made more easy and attractive to access to encourage businesses to take on young people.

Speaking for the Scottish Conservatives, Gavin Brown said one of the barriers to success in improving employability was the single year funding third sector organisations faced and he called for more three year funding to be introduced.

The second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Employability Debate 2

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