I read this week that the numbers of homeless young people in Scotland is rising and found this shocking on two fronts. Firstly that the number is so high and rising, and secondly that there appeared to be little decisive action taking place to find long term solutions for our most vulnerable young people.
The headline number was that there are 5,751 homeless young Scots. To contextualise this, the number of people employed in the Public Sector in Scotland is circa 542,200, as at quarter 3 2016. Turnover of staff in the Public Sector varies by region, and by employment sector, but typically turnover is between 5 and 10%. Staff turnover figures in entry level posts is invariably higher. So instead of saying, "we are doing everything we can", or "the fact that homelessness still exists, and in such large numbers, is a national disgrace", lets say that we want those who control the Public Sector in Scotland , i.e. The Scottish Government, Scottish Local Authorities, and the UK Government, to require that 1% of Scottish Public Sector vacancies are reserved for homeless young people. This would make a significant impact on the young homeless numbers by providing employment and income, it would boost the economy, break the links between poverty and ill health, make our public services more diverse and representative of the people it serves, and mark out Scotland as a country, not of rhetoric and words around social justice and a fairer society, but of actions and deeds that make a difference.
There are a number of individual initiatives which across the country which demonstrate the value and benefits of socially responsible recruitment, but there needs to be a open debate about this becoming an inherent part of modern HR practice. Our life potential is about the opportunities we are afforded, and the control of most of those opportunities are in the hands of others who give you a chance. All of us can think of a point in our career when someone opened that door that changed things for us, and that is all socially responsible recruitment is creating; an opportunity. Think about it, you may just turn a life around!