Youth Participation at record high

91.8% 16-19 year olds in education, training or work.

The proportion of young people in Scotland in education, training or employment has increased to a record 91.8%, a 0.7 percentage point increase over the last year.

The number of young people not currently in education, training or employment also fell to 3.4%, a 0.3 percentage point decrease since 2017. The figures also showed that 87.1% of 16-19 year olds from minority ethnic groups are participating in education, 15.8 percentage points higher than the national average.

The participation gap between those living in the 20% most deprived areas and those in the 20% least deprived areas has continued to narrow, from 11.5% in 2017 to 10.8% in 2018.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said:

“These record figures show that our efforts to encourage and support young people to stay in learning, training and work are working for the vast majority across Scotland.

“As well as a continued reduction in the participation gap for those living in the most deprived areas, reflecting the impact our commitment to delivering excellence and equity for all is having a positive impact on participation rates, I am particularly pleased to see a record increase in the number of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds in education.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to delivering positive outcomes for all our young people. As well as achieving our target to reduce unemployment by 40% four years ahead of schedule, we exceeded the annual target of 27,000 Modern Apprenticeships opportunities in 2017/18. We are now working towards delivering 28,000 opportunities in 2018/2019 in line with our commitment to increase MA starts to 30,000 by 2020.”


The annual participation measure statistics are published by Skills Development Scotland and are available here:

The Annual Participation Measure is the source for Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework indicator: ‘increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work’.


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