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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people

Last update: 27 October 2020
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  1. Programmes specific for vulnerable young people
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Programmes specific for vulnerable young people


For programmes within the education system aimed at vulnerable young people, see the section ‘Educational support’ in the article ‘Social inclusion through education and training’ for further information.

Community Jobs Scotland (CJS)

Community Jobs Scotland programme, launched in 2011, is delivered by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, in partnership with the Scottish Government. It provides job training opportunities for unemployed young people (aged 16 to 29) with barriers (those previously in care, have disabilities, have past criminal convictions, or other health issues). In February 2017, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced the Government will be continuing to fund CJS, by investing £6.1 million. Since its 2011 launch, the Government has invested more than £50 million, which has created more than seven thousand job training opportunities for young people in Scotland. 

Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC) 

Children and Young People Collaborative is a combination of previous programmes and services provided by the government, the Early Years Collaborative, and the Raising Attainment for All. In 2014, the government decided to combine the two, to create CYPIC. The aim of the programme is to improve the quality of services used by families, children and young people, like early years, health and schools. In doing so, it hopes to tackle inequality and improve life outcomes of children and young people. The government work with local authorities, health boards and the third sector. So far, the programme has implemented a variety of improvements that has helped support children and young people, this includes: 

  • engaging with vulnerable families to help build parenting confidence and skills;

  • helping children in deprived areas by increasing literacy and numeracy skills in nurseries and primary schools;

  • and mentoring secondary school pupils to raise their aspirations and attainment.

Youth justice system

Youth justice is identified in the National Youth Work Strategy as an area of youth sector work. The importance of preventing offending, in particular, was highlighted by the Scottish Government in 2009 in Valuing Young People: Principles and Connections to Support Young People Achieve Their Potential.

The Scottish Government’s youth justice strategy for 2015-2020 also places the emphasis on preventing offending. Launched in 2015, Preventing Offending: Getting it Right for Children and Young People advances the ‘whole system approach’, which includes early and effective intervention, maximising opportunities to divert young people from prosecution, and providing court support to young people. The aim of its youth justice strategy is to help communities feel safe; improve the life chances for children and young people involved in or at risk of offending; and enable all children and young people to be contributors, successful and responsible citizens. It also places a strategic focus on addressing young people’s wider needs, by improving life chances and developing capacity and improvement. This child-centred, preventative approach is aligned with Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and is intended to support the Government’s overall ambition to make Scotland the best place to grow up in. 

Their progress report was published in 2017, highlighting the progress made since 2015, and builds on the 2015 strategy by outlining their priorities and future steps.

Additionally, in August 2018, the Government announced due to the success of the whole system approach, an extra £1.6 million will be given to local authorities for youth justice services of prevention, which will also include services for young people aged up to 21, and up to aged 26 for care-experienced people. 

European Social Fund

The European Social Fund is being used to support a Strategic Intervention in the area of social inclusion and poverty reduction in Scotland. The lead partner is the Big Lottery Fund; other partners include: the Scottish Government directorate for Local Government and Communities (with responsibility for equalities, human rights and the voluntary sector) and Scotland's 32 local authorities (LAs). Young people are not targeted directly by this Strategic Intervention, but are affected by its aims and actions, including:

  • supporting active inclusion through activity

  • increasing the financial capacity of the most disadvantaged individuals and households

  • enabling disadvantaged communities to develop solutions to reduce poverty

  • increasing the sustainability of Scotland's social economy to support the most disadvantaged groups and areas.

The lead partner (Big Lottery Fund) is required to ensure compliance with European Commission regulations in the allocation of funding, while the Scottish Government, as Managing Authority for the Strategic Intervention, is responsible for monitoring and evaluation.

Year of Young People 2018

Year of Young People 2018 (YoYP) was a platform for Scottish young people (aged 8 to 26), commissioned by the Scottish Government to get young people more involved in the policy making process and create a more inclusive Scotland for young people. It’s objectives included: 

  • providing a platform for young people to express their views on issues that affect their lives;

  • showcasing young people through events and media;

  • developing a better understanding and cooperation between generations;

  • recognise the impact of those who support young people’s lives (like teachers and youth workers);

  • and provide young people with opportunities to express themselves through culture, sport and other activities.

YoYP 2018 facilitated communication between the Scottish Government and young people. In March 2018, the First Minister, held the second annual Youth Cabinet meeting with the representatives of young people. Here, they discussed issues impacting their lives, hoping to inform the government’s agenda and policies regarding young people.





The Government state that to tackle poverty and social exclusion in Scotland a universal approach cannot be successfully implemented. As a result, the Government has designed a range of funding streams, like the Empowering Communities Fund, and The Children, Young People and Families Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund. These funding streams help agencies, local communities, charities and organisations tackle inequalities through their programmes. 

Empowering Communities Fund 

The Empowering Communities Fund was established in 2015. The fund empowers local communities to tackle poverty and inequality themselves by regenerating their communities on their own terms. As a result, communities are at the forefront of delivering improvements and changes to their own communities, with an understanding of what their local community needs to thrive. It has four targeted funds and programmes, each with a different focus and ambition:

  • The Strengthening Communities Programme invests in local communities. It provides support for community organisations, by helping them provide activities and services for their local community. 

  • The People and Communities Fund (PCF) launched in 2012, provides support for projects that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion in communities. The PCF has benefited young people (including ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups) by providing a range of support, including training and upskilling, volunteering and employability advice, and peer-mentoring opportunities. From 2016 to 2017, the PCF funding amounted to £10.65 million; and the PCF will continue to support existing projects and initiatives for the period 2018 to 2019. 

  • The Communities Choices Fund supports participatory budgeting in Scotland. Together with local authorities, communities and third sector organisations, the fund helps young people, by providing funding in the following policy areas: health and social care, transport and education. Further funding has been confirmed for 2018/19. 

  • The Aspiring Communities Fund provides funding to community bodies and third sector organisations in deprived communities, in order to deliver projects that will address the community's needs, increase inclusion amongst locals, and reduce poverty. 

The Children, Young People and Families Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund (CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund) 

The CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund was launched in designed to improve the outcomes of children, young people and families in Scotland. The Scottish Government is working in partnership with Corra Foundation, who administers and manages the fund. The fund is awarded to third sector organisations that promote the wellbeing indicators in the Getting it Right for Every Child (for more information on GIRFEC, see article ‘Strategy for the social inclusion of young people’), and tackle inequalities and poverty. Continued funding for existing organisations will extended into 2019 to 2020. Since the launch of the fund in 2016, the Scottish Government has invested £29 million. For more information on projects, see the Corra Foundation website


Quality assurance

Quality assurance mechanisms are described where the programme / intervention is mentioned above.