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Summary: Disability and Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning

Summary: Disability and Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning


  • In 2015-16, 12% of full-time Higher Education students and 20% of full-time Further Education students in colleges declared a disability.

Source:  SFC Report on Widening Access 2015-16 (Formerly Learning for All)


  •  8.6% of Modern Apprenticeship starts declared they were disabled in 2016-17.

Source: Modern Apprenticeship Statistics, 2016-17 Q4


  • In 2015-16, young people with a disability were less likely to be in positive destinations. 82.8% of 16-19 year olds identified as having a disability were participating in education, employment, training or other development, compared to 90.6% of those not identified as having a disability.

  • There was a smaller proportion of young people with a disability participating in education (64.4% compared to 71.5%) and employment (12.0% compared to 17.0%).

  • However, young people with a disability were more likely to be participating in training or other development (6.3%) than those without (2.0%).

Source: Annual Participation Measure 2016, Skills Development Scotland


  • In 2010, degrees were held by 12.5% of disabled persons, half of the rate of the non-disabled group.

Source: Annual Population Survey Jan-Dec 2010


Useful Links

Disability page

Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning page

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes. Equality breakdowns illustrate how protected groups are progressing towards achievement of the National Outcomes, particularly ‘we have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society’.

National Indicator number 8: Improve the skill profile of the population, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Disability, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs



Annual Population Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

College Statistics 2016-17 (SFC, January 2018) An annual publication which contains an overview of college student characteristics, including age, disability, ethnicity, and gender. A more detailed breakdown is published in the Widening Access report published later in the year

Widening Access For All 2015/16 (SFC, September 2017) A report on progress towards the Commission on Widening Access targets. Contains data on further and higher education with analysis covering age, disability, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status

Modern Apprenticeship Statistics 2016/17 (Skills Development Scotland, June 2017) Statistics on modern aprenticeships, covering age, deprevation, disability, ethnicity, and gender

External Research Organisations

Scottish Funding Council - Collects information on further and higher education in Scotland

Skills Development Scotland - Collects information on modern apprenticeships in Scotland



Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning