Young people to be the focus of Business in the Parliament


A celebration of the role of young people in business is to be the focus of a two-day conference in the Scottish Parliament.

Now in its 12th year, Business in the Parliament will bring together over 200 of Scotland’s leading business people with MSPs from across the political spectrum on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October. It is a joint event between the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee and the Scottish Government.

Chaired by Presiding Officer, this year’s theme takes inspiration from the Year of Young People. Delegates will debate a range of issues such as fair work opportunities for young people; the importance of practical learning alongside academic study; the threats and opportunities of Scotland’s online economy and also how to encourage more young people to join company boards.

The keynote speaker of the event is Edel Harris, Chief Executive of Cornerstone, a social care provider, and also EY Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year 2017. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP will also deliver a keynote address and Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, will close the conference.

School pupils will also present to delegates at the conference. Estrela are Kirkwall Grammer School’s 2017/18 Young Enterprise team who manufactured a battery-operated LED light for the home. They will be joined by Lite from Northfield Academy in Aberdeen, who market clothing to promote mental health awareness

Presiding Officer, the Rt. Hon. Ken Macintosh MSP said:

“Business in the Parliament provides a unique forum which brings together politicians, policymakers, trade unions, business people and entrepreneurs from all over Scotland to have a frank debate about what more can be done to support our economy.

“It is particularly fitting that this year the event recognises the contribution of our young people in building and developing our economy of tomorrow. At the heart of this is how we can spark that entrepreneurial spirit in our young people and I look forward to hearing new voices and contributions to this important debate.”

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee Gordon Lindhurst MSP said:

“This year’s event is all about the future. The future of our economy, of business and of our young people. I hope this two-day conference will be a catalyst for new thinking, new relationships and a source of inspiration both to Scotland’s business community, politicians and policymakers.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Finance Derek Mackay MSP said:

“Scotland has huge economic potential and we are well placed to take advantage of the economic opportunities that come from our established strengths in innovation and technological change.

“The Scottish Government regularly engages with businesses across Scotland, listening and responding to their views, to ensure we are working in partnership to meet the needs of our economy. It is right that in this, the Year of Young People, our future entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow are taking part in the 2018 Business in Parliament event.”



Hosted jointly by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government, the event is supported by all the main business organisations in Scotland (CBI Scotland, Federation of Small Business, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Institute of Directors, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Young Enterprise Scotland and Scottish Financial Enterprise) as well as the Scottish Trades Union Congress and the Scottish Parliament Business Exchange.

Members of the public can also watch the event online which can be viewed on the Business in the Parliament website from Friday evening. Visit the website.

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