Youth participation rises

Greater proportion of 16-19 year olds in education, training or work.

The proportion of young people in Scotland in education, training or employment increased by 0.7 percentage points over the last year to 91.1%.

The 2017 Annual Participation Measure for 16-19 year olds, published today by Skills Development Scotland, showed the highest participation rate is amongst 16 year olds (98.8%), with the vast majority at school (91.5%).

The proportion of people not currently participating in education, training or employment decreased by 0.3 percentage points over the same period.

The figures also showed that 94.3% of 16-19 year olds from minority ethnic groups are participating, which is 3.2 percentage points higher than the rate for all 16-19 year olds. 

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

“I welcome these figures which show proportionately more young people between the ages of 16 to 19 in Scotland are involved in education, training or employment.

“I am particularly pleased to note that 23 local areas showed increases in participation.

“Going forwards we want to ensure that all of Scotland’s young people have access to the best possible opportunities and we are committed to continuing to work with local authorities to minimise the number of young people not participating in education, training or work.

“We are delivering 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships per year by 2020, whilst expanding towards 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeships per year.  We have invested £5 billion in higher education over the last five years. We are committed to building a skilled and educated workforce and reducing youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.”

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland Acting Director of Operations, said:

“The information gathered for the Annual Participation Measure helps to ensure we offer the very best support to Scotland’s young people.

“By combining data from SDS, schools, colleges, Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions, we can accurately report on the activities of 16-19-year-olds and provide guidance where it is needed.

Providing detailed information for this age group, rather than just school leavers, ultimately helps young people access the support, learning and training they need as they move towards employment to make the best possible start to their working lives.”



Notes to editors:


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

The Annual Participation Measure will be adopted within the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.  It is replacing the school leaver destination follow up as the source of the indicator, “increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work”, published through Scotland Performs.


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