Speaking during a Holyrood debate on the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee, Martin Whitfield MSP challenged Ministers on the scheme’s impact amid fears of a ‘lost Covid generation’ emerging.

Mr Whitfield highlighted the lack of evidence available from the first year of the Guarantee, which aims to connect every 16 to 24-year-old in Scotland to an opportunity, which could be a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“As we emerge from the pandemic, there is a real and growing danger that the Covid generation of young people who are coming through the crisis will face serious disadvantage compared with their elder peers.

“There are a group of young people with a lost 18 months – time they would normally spend having new experiences, extending and cementing friendship circles and developing skills that are so important going forward into the workforce and their careers.

“Without a real focus on extending opportunities to all we are risking a lost Covid generation who will not be able to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, there is little concrete evidence that the Scottish Government is treating this problem with the seriousness or urgency it requires. Ministers must now prioritise supporting the young people who have suffered most during the pandemic.”