Personalised online careers support for all pupils

Recommendations of Learner Journey Review published.

Every pupil in Scotland will have access to an online account with personalised support in choosing courses and planning a career, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced.

It is one of seventeen recommendations in a review, published today, of the journey through the education system for 15-24 year olds.

From 2019, pupils will have their own learner account where they can record their skills and qualifications and receive help in planning next steps into further learning or work.

Other recommendations to be taken forward by the Scottish Government, its agencies and the wider sector include:

  • More joined-up advice and guidance on post-school options across the education sector.
  • Young people to receive a better balance of work-based and academic skills informed by employer engagement, building on the success of the Developing the Young Workforce programme.
  • Improved collaboration between schools, colleges and universities to enable, where appropriate, greater flexibility for young people to move from S5 to year one of a degree, from S6 to year 2, and from college into years 2 and 3 of university.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Our school leavers now have a widening range of opportunities available - from industry-led technical professional options to long standing well-established academic routes. But what is clear is there is no single route to success in life.

“With a record proportion of school leavers going on to a positive destination, there is much to celebrate already. This review will build on firm foundations and challenges all of us within the education and skills sector to go further.

“Ensuring the right advice, support and guidance fits seamlessly around a pupil is vital. Schools, colleges, universities and employers must work together to help young people navigate what is, rightly, a wide and varied range of post-school opportunities.

“Taking forward these recommendations will require strong leadership across the sector but will ensure all young people are supported to take the learner journey that is right for them.”

Rebecca Slater, 19, from Aberdeen is an enquiry officer at Student Awards Agency Scotland who joined in 2017 as a modern apprentice. She said:

“I began my learner journey when I moved from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, to start studying veterinary medicine at Edinburgh University. I chose to study this as, being someone who puts animal care at the centre of their life, I thought I would very much enjoy this career path.

“However, by the end of the academic session, I discovered the course was not actually for me and I would rather be in employment, so I left after first year and started to look for Modern Apprenticeships, where I could gain a qualification through my employment. This was very attractive to me as it was great to be able to get a qualification whilst I worked.

“I was lucky enough to find a job at SAAS through the modern apprentice scheme and recently gained my qualification for my SVQ in customer service. I really recommend the modern apprentice route and think more could be done to promote apprenticeship opportunities at school as university is not for everyone.”


The report on the 15-24 Learner Journey Review can be viewed on the Scottish Government website.

The review, established in 2016, involved young people across Scotland and engaged with schools, parents, colleges, universities, employers and a wide range of public bodies.

Key facts:

  • In 2015/16, 37.3 per cent of all school leavers went on to higher education, 22.4 per cent into further education, 28.7 per cent into employment.
  • Between 2007 and 2017 there has been an 18 percentage point increase in young people staying on to S6. Of those progressing from S6 to university, only around 1.4 per cent enter at year two of university.
  • In 2014/15, 8,402 HNC/D  students progressed onto university. Of this 48% articulated with Advanced Standing (where their credit was fully recognised); 10% with Advanced Progression (only some of their credit was recognised) and 42% with Progression (their credit was not recognised).
  • In 2016, 91 per cent of completers of a Modern Apprenticeship were in work 6 months after the completion date.


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