Liberal Democrat MP, Christine Jardine, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Royal Bank of Scotland that it will invest £7m supporting partnerships and projects throughout Scotland over the next seven years.
Marking the organisation’s 300th anniversary, the ‘300 Fund’ will focus on key areas of the Scottish economy such as climate change, financial capability and enterprise.
The first partnership will be with the John Smith Centre for Public Service. 300 young people aged 17-27 from diverse backgrounds across Scotland will take part in a 12-month programme to create employment opportunities and develop networks, while helping to promote a culture of respectful civic engagement.
The programme will comprise a 70-hour paid internship with a politician, business or NGO, as well as membership of the John Smith Centre AlumniNetwork, which is intended to establish a legacy for the programme.
The programme will also include a weekend at RBS’ business school in Gogaburn, at the heart of Edinburgh West constituency.
Ms Jardine said: “I welcome this positive initiative from the Royal Bank of Scotland to engage young people with public service and give them an understanding of how politics and business can be a force for good. It’s something I feel strongly about and would be keen to support.
“I am particularly pleased that the young people will spend time at RBS’ great facilities in Gogaburn, taking part in workshops and learning from some of the country’s leading politicians, business leaders, public servants and journalists.
“As we look towards a challenging decade in Scottish and British politics, we need to equip our young people with the skills and experience needed to navigate challenges new and old.
“This programme sets an example of how we can prepare and inspire young people for a career in public service, instilling the values of tolerance, respect and responsible leadership.”