Launch of Opportunities For Bright Scots Brochure

11 February 2009
Scotland's youngest MEP Alyn Smith has launched the second edition of the hugely successful "Opportunities for Bright Scots in Europe" brochure encouraging and helping bright Scots access career opportunities in Europe.

The official launch took place with fellow SNP European candidate Dr Duncan Ross, himself a university lecturer, at the University of Strathclyde Student Union and was organised by the Young Scots for Independence and Federation of Student Nationalists.

The brochure is being sent free of charge to all secondary schools, universities and libraries in Scotland and is available electronically to anyone upon request. Following the success of the first edition, Mr Smith and Dr Ross are keen to encourage more ambitious Scots to take full advantage of the opportunities in the European Union and help Scotland play an active role in Europe.

The booklet provides an overview of what jobs are on offer in the main institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as information on funding and exchange programmes. In the wake of the credit crunch, a lot of doom and gloom surrounds graduates' prospects of seeking employment this year. Mr Smith hopes this brochure will provide encouragement and a glimmer of hope for worried students that there are other options.

Alyn Smith said:

"There are a whole host of opportunities available for students across the EU. It is a grave shame that so many Scots are unaware of these possibilities. I have produced this brochure because I want to open as many doors for Scots as I possibly can.

"As a proud Scot working in Europe and a fellow intern back in 1996, I want to see more and more Scots making their mark across Europe. With a lot of pessimism surrounding the job market at the moment I want to reassure bright young Scots that they can have a bright future if they make the most of opportunities that are readily available."

Dr Ross added:

"I would like to thank everyone who came along to the launch and those who expressed an interest. Working in education, I know how pertinent it is for students to gain practical experience and where better to gain such experience than in the heart of Europe.

"Internships have never been more important and by circulating this brochure around all schools and universities we hope that this will send out a positive message to students unsure or worried about their career path due to difficult times. When students participate in internships like those in our brochure it adds colour to their CV and is an important step in a student's career path.

"Our last brochure opened many doors for a number of young Scots and with summer around the corner, we hope the second edition will do exactly the same."

Mike Hill, chief executive of Graduate Prospects commented:

"This is the time for us to be encouraging students to think long-term and we support initiatives that help them recognise the number of exciting prospects out there, such as this brochure. Despite the recession there continue to be graduate jobs. It is not widely reported, but many employers are increasing the opportunities they can offer and doing all they can to maintain graduate programmes.

"It is going to be tougher for 2009 graduates but having a portfolio packed with experience and qualifications will help them land those prized positions. It continues to be a fact that long-term a degree will make you more employable. The 2008 Labour Force Survey demonstrates this with only 3% of graduates under 30 experiencing unemployment, compared to 8% of non-graduates in the same age group."