BUSINESS leaders have promised Scottish youngsters they will “recognise and value qualifications as much as any other year” ahead of tomorrow’s results.

Students have faced challenges since the pandemic began and in-person exams returned this year for the first time since 2019. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has said this year’s exams have been graded “generously” after two years of disruption.

In a letter to pupils, signed by 18 business leaders, firms have committed to create good jobs for youngsters as they enter the world of work while reminding them that there are different career pathways to take regardless of their grades.

The letter, penned by Sandy Begbie (below) of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), also said qualifications will be valued the same as any other year.

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The open letter – which includes signatories from the Scottish Retail Consortium, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and the CBI – said: “As employers we recognise the challenges you have faced over the last two years and take great confidence in the ingenuity and resilience shown to overcome them. We want to re-assure you that we recognise and value qualifications as much as any other year and that the skills you have developed, and will continue to develop, will play a crucial role in ensuring a bright future for businesses in Scotland and our economy.”

The business leaders, who said they wanted to re-assure students of their “commitment and support no matter what path” they followed, added: “We are committed to creating job opportunities for you so that you can have a positive future.

“Scotland is fortunate in having a wide range of industries offering many exciting jobs for you to consider for your future career. There are lots of industries continuing to grow and new ones emerging which offer opportunities across all of Scotland.

“Employers will continue to need young people with fresh ideas and experience to get involved and work together with us.”

In the letter, which wished students luck with their next steps, bosses said they supported the “ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee and its commitment to support every young person aged between

16-24 to have the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering”.

More than 650 employers have now backed the guarantee, ranging from large companies, local authorities, small business, trade bodies and charities.

Begbie, who is chairman of the Young Person’s Guarantee implementation group and chief executive of SFE, said results day was “often a daunting moment for young people” which this year could be made worse by the “difficult economic picture”.

He added: “The message we want to get across to young people is that their skills, talents and ideas are vital right now to businesses across Scotland to help them grow and prosper.

“As employers we are determined to harness the power of our future workforce to drive the economic recovery and create a brighter future for Scotland.

“There are many different pathways available to young people and we are clear that no matter their results, their qualifications are valued, and there are good opportunities out there for them to take advantage of to help them reach their full potential.

“I am delighted that so many key employers from across the Scottish economy have joined us to share this message.”