The successful transition of young people through learning and training into work is of great importance to both the individual and wider society. The learning accessed during a young person's school and post school activities provides the bedrock for future career opportunities to be realised through a combination of the knowledge, skills, aptitude and personal qualities people need to lead positive and productive adult lives.
Youth unemployment is a serious issue for the Scottish Government. We know that young people who experience a period out of learning or training are more likely to become unemployed than those who participate. This risk increases the longer the young person remains disengaged.
There is a strong association between under-achievement and unemployment. In improving the rate of participation across all 16-19 year olds, we will help deliver improvements to the economy, as well as address a range of social issues central to improving the opportunities available to individuals throughout their life.
This indicator provides important evidence of the impact organisations across the employment, education and vocational sectors, and the wider support system, are having on preventing young people experiencing a period out of learning, training or work.
We know that the vast majority of young people successfully participate in and move through a number of learning and training opportunities before beginning their career. This enables them to build on their skills and enables them to develop as individuals and contribute to the wider society. Making progress is therefore about continuing to develop and provide opportunities for all young people as they move through their school career and by ensuring that transitions into adult life are supported. However, there continues to be a real need to address the strong correlation between young people who have not fulfilled their academic potential, those who have become disengaged from school, those living in or experiencing deprivation and those young people leaving care and young people who don't continue to participate in learning, training or work upon leaving school.
The Government's wider aim of tackling the causes of poverty and deprivation offer an important intervention that can influence this indicator. So can:
early identification of individuals at risk and support for them throughout their time at school
the development of a senior phase curriculum that supports all young people
appropriate support for young people as they make transitions through the senior phase and
effective career advice and guidance and targeted support for those who need it most earlier in their learning journey
Supporting young people to participate in post-16 learning, training or work is the best means of improving their long-term job prospects. This Government's long term aim, therefore, is to enable all young people to achieve and progress in learning and to equip them with the skills to get and sustain a job. Through Opportunities for All, we will work with key partners to ensure:
effective delivery of young people's existing entitlements to a senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence, with well-planned transitions facilitated through 16+ Learning Choices
successful transition from school and all subsequent transitions with targeted support for those who need it most and
any offer of learning is appropriate to the young person's needs, circumstances and ambitions and offers an opportunity for progression
Opportunities for All is an explicit commitment to an offer of a place in education or training based on individual needs and circumstances for every 16-19 year old who is not currently in work, education or training. This commitment builds on and adds impetus to existing activity being taken forward through Curriculum for Excellence and 16+ Learning Choices and forms a significant element of the Governments reform of post-16 education.
Opportunities for All, which incorporates the More Choices, More Chances strategy, is the Government's policy to encourage Local Authorities, Community Planning and other partners, including employers, to undertake a broad range of measures to ensure that the post-16 system focuses on supporting those at risk of disengaging and those who have already done so.
The proportion of 16-19 year olds were participating in education, training or employment was 91.1% from 1st April 2016 – 31st March 2017 compared to 90.4% from 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016. This is an increase of 0.7 percentage points.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
Deprivation: overall, those who live in more deprived areas are less likely to be reported as participating compared to those from less deprived areas. There is a 13.6 percentage point gap in the participation rate between those from the most deprived areas (SIMD decile 1) and the least deprived areas (SIMD decile 10).
Gender: across the equalities groups, the participation rate for 16-19 year old females is 91.6%, in comparison to 90.5% for males. The percentage of both females and males participating has increased between 2016 and 2017 annual participation measures. The participation rate remains higher for females than males although the gap between the two has narrowed from 1.3 percentage points in 2016 to 1.1 in 2017.
Ethnicity: 94.3% of the ethnic minority group of 16-19 year olds are participating (3.2 percentage points higher than the rate for all 16-19 year olds). The participation gap has widened by 0.7 percentage points (3.3 pp in 2017 compared to 2.6 pp in 2016).
Disability: the participation rate of 16-19 year olds identified with a disability is 83.6% (7.5 percentage points lower than the rate for all 16-19 year olds). Those identified as having a disability and participating has increased over the year by 0.8 percentage points.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening. Changes resulting from the improved recording of unknown destinations were also taken into account in this evaluation.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Community Planning Partnerships
Schools - local authority funded; grant-aided and independent
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Skills Development Scotland
The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQF)
Voluntary sector organisations
Wealthier and Fairer