THERE is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives.

No-one has been left un-affected by a situation which continues to evolve every day.

The impact of the resulting economic slow-down hits our most vulnerable people the hardest. This includes young people, many of whom are already dubbing themselves the 'Covid Generation'.

One of the challenges we face is to mitigate and minimise the impacts of the pandemic on young people and their employment and training opportunities.

Significant effort has been focused on new and innovative ways of supporting young people, to keep them connected and on the path to a positive destination.

I know that agencies like Skills Development Scotland have been very active locally as we have moved through the different stages of lock down and the pandemic supporting individuals, employers, local services and other partners across the communities of Clackmannanshire.

In particular, there has been efforts to support young people undertaking apprenticeships who may have been displaced as a result of the pandemic.

Earlier this month the cabinet secretary for the economy set out how Scotland's Youth Guarantee give young people the chance to succeed despite the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Backed by £60million of funding, The guarantee will ensure everyone aged 16-24 in Scotland has the opportunity of work, education or training.

Interestingly, the recent Young Person Guarantee report also highlights the need to ensure that City Deal projects with a positive environmental impact must create sustainable good quality jobs for young people, whilst recommending that we need to align our future economy across economic policy, education and employer requirements.

A priority of the Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Region Deal already does this with projects such as Scotland's International Environment Centre where discussions are ongoing between, local schools, Forth Valley College and Stirling University to ensure that all these factors are taken into consideration when developing future regional education, skills and training offerings.

These discussions have become more important than ever as a result of the pandemic.

Out of crisis, opportunity is often born and by seizing on such opportunities we can take steps to ensure that young people are not left behind and that youth unemployment does not become the become the legacy of coronavirus.

Last week the first minster set out further measures to protect the population from the spread of Covid-19. I know the impact this will have on many people and I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts so far but as we see cases of the virus increase again, it is more important than ever that we keep our guard up and continue to work together to get through this.

Meanwhile, last Friday would normally have seen Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning.

I would usually have spent the day going between different fundraising events across the constituency but as with many things, due to coronavirus, efforts were focused on a virtual basis.

Students, staff and parents of Alva Academy are well known for their fundraising efforts for Macmillian.

They have raised nearly £400,000 in past years so it was great to hear, that despite all the challenges faced this year, at the close of play on Friday another £24,000 had been raised.

I would like to pass on my congratulations to everyone involved for their efforts and this fantastic achievement.