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Information for Employers

You may start to see new qualifications appear on job applications and CVs.  National 4 and National 5 qualifications are now offered instead of Standard Grade General and Standard Grade Credit qualifications, respectively.  Highers continue to be offered and have been updated to support the new curriculum.  Similarly, New Advanced Highers were introduced in 2015-16.  Of course job applicants may have a variety of qualifications, so follow this link to see how the different qualifications and awards compare.

Under Curriculum for Excellence, the education system aims to provide children and young people with a range of learning pathways that meet their individual needs and aspirations, and preparing them for learning, life and work.  The new qualifications offer increased flexibility and there is a greater focus on skills and applying learning to real-life situations.

There are also a wider range of vocational qualifications and awards, such as Employability; Enterprise and Employability; Leadership; Personal Development; Skills for Work; Certificate of Work Readiness and National Progression Awards.  As well as the new National Qualifications, these other qualifications support learners’ wider achievements.

See the Employers Guide to the National Qualifications

More information about Skills for Work qualifications

More information about the Certificate of Work Readiness

More information on SQA Awards

What do these changes mean for employers?

These changes mean that young people will leave school more prepared for the world of work.  The breadth and depth of skills, knowledge and experience that young people gain through Curriculum for Excellence will give them more confidence to apply their learning and use their skills in real-life situations.

Building on Curriculum for Excellence approaches, Developing the Young Workforce aims to support young people’s progression to the workplace by ensuring education and business have a closer collaborative working relationship.  This can deliver benefits to employers by developing the skills and experience in young people they need for their own businesses. It can also support  young people in developing the skills they will need for the future jobs market.

There are now more opportunities open to employers and schools to work directly with each other.  The employer led, Developing Young Workforce Regional Groups which have been established throughout the country, aim to encourage and support employers to engage directly with schools and colleges and  also support employers to recruit more young people into their workforce.  Employers can support young people in schools and colleges in a variety of ways,  for example mentoring,  quality work placements, developing skills for applications or interviews, and enhancing lessons in specific subject areas.

Guidance for School/Employer Partnerships provides information on practical steps in developing productive partnerships which can inspire young people to develop skills for employment by offering a range of opportunities.  The guidance has been published in 3 parts: Guidance for schools, Guidance for employers, Guidance for DYW groups and local authorities.

Information on the standards for Work Placements to support informing young people in making their career choices by providing relevant learning experiences within the workplace and the Career Education standard (3-18) which aims to better support all children and young people in making informed decisions about future career choices and learning opportunities, are also available on the Education Scotland website

Click on the links below for some examples of school/employer partnerships:

Shell – Girls in Energy

Ayrshire Chamber – enhanced employer and education links

Scottish Food and Drink Federation – A Future in Food