An Open Letter to Young People

An Open Letter to Young People

Introduction from Sandy Begbie, CEO Scottish Financial Enterprise, Chair of Young Person’s Guarantee Implementation Group, Chair of DYW

We all know that this year has been a year like no other and understand that the impact on young people has been significant.

Research undertaken with young people by Young Scot reveals anxiety that this year’s qualifications and achievements will not be valued as highly by employers in comparison to previous years. My many discussions with industry and employers resoundingly confirms the opposite. Instead my experience is widespread employer admiration for the fortitude and resilience young people have shown throughout all the challenges faced in the past year, and a solid commitment to create opportunities to help shape futures.

Official SQA results are due to be issued on 10 August. This is an opportune moment to communicate through an ‘open letter to young people’ that Scotland’s industry and employers stand in support of them, recognise their qualifications, and congratulate them on their achievements. The content of the open letter is attached and includes a number of signatories who represent a broad range of Scotland’s employers. We couldn’t include everyone, however I know there will be many more who stand ready to endorse it.

I therefore kindly ask for your support now, to get behind our campaign and help re-build youth confidence at this critical time.

How to get involved

From the 9 August 2021:

  1. Communicate your support as an employer or industry organisation
    publish the open letter on your website and endorse your support of its content through social media channels.
  2. Help us reach young people and their parents and carers
    show partnership support through publishing the letter on your website, and use your social media channels to communicate the message on behalf of industry and employers.

To help you

  • Attached below the letter and its list of signatories.
  • From early Monday, a copy of the letter can be found or linked to at
  • Attached are social media images you can use in your posts. For accessibility, please consider using an image description or alt tag.
  • Use the hashtag #CommitmentToYOUth.

An open letter to Scotland’s Young People

While you enjoy the summer and a well-deserved break from your studies we wanted to write to you in our role as Scotland’s business leaders and on behalf of our networks of thousands of Scottish employers. As you receive your official SQA results, we want to reassure you that we recognise and value your qualifications as much as any other year. We congratulate you on everything you’ve overcome and achieved this year, and you have our support, whatever your needs and wherever your ambitions lie.

Over the past 18 months you’ve had to deal with a situation like no other and the flexibility, ingenuity and resilience you’ve shown gives us confidence in you as future employees.

We are committed to helping to create job opportunities for you so that you can have a positive future. We are also committed to ensuring that there are opportunities available for  every young person and that you have help and support to develop further.

Many people in interesting job roles across Scotland may not have taken an obvious or traditional path. Look out for #NoWrongPath which will show you that, whatever your results, there are different routes into jobs. There are lots of industries continuing to grow and new ones emerging which offer exciting opportunities. Employers need young people with fresh ideas and experience to get involved and work together with us to tackle big challenges, such as climate change. We will do all that we can to help you find ways to use your skills and talents in the workplace.

We all support the ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee and its commitment that within two years, every young person aged between 16 and 24, will have the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering. And we’ll keep speaking to young people across Scotland to understand how we can keep delivering on our commitment to you.

Wishing you the very best of luck with your next steps. Scotland’s employers stand ready to support you. This is our #CommitmentToYOUth.


Sandy Begbie, CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise

Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance

Louise Macdonald, National Director Scotland, Institute of Directors

Damien Yeates, CEO, Skills Development Scotland

James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food and Drink

Dr Liz Barron-Majerik, Director, LANTRA

Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, CIPD

Tracy Black, Director Scotland, CBI

Anna Fowlie, CEO, SCVO

Fiona Hodgson, CEO, SNIPEF Training Services

David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

Karen Betts, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association

Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s

Susan Love, Head of External Affairs, The Federation of Small Businesses

Liz Cameron, CEO, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Sara Thiam, CEO, Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children

Iain MacRitchie, Founder and Chair, MCR Pathways

Anne Wexelstein, Director for Scotland, Career Ready

Kate Still, Director Scotland, The Prince’s Trust

Kirsten Urquhart, CEO, Young Scot