Established in 2014, the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Regional Groups are a network of 21 industry led groups tasked with strengthening employer engagement with education. The establishment of the groups was a key recommendation in the Youth Employment Strategy – Developing the Young Workforce. The groups work to support pupils in Scotland’s publicly funded secondary schools to bring about a permanent improvement in how employers engage with schools. Through engagement with a network of over 4000 employers they have enriched the school experience for tens of thousands of young people and seek to address longstanding issues in the youth labour market (e.g. occupational segregation in certain sectors).
Strengthening the role of Regional DYW Groups was outlined in recommendations published by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board (2020) (ESSB) and the Young Person Guarantee No One Left Behind (2020). The ESSB recommendations identified a need to add capacity through the introduction of funded DYW School Coordinators across all secondary schools.
The main role of DYW School Coordinators will be to support senior management in the school to embed the Developing the Young Workforce Strategy and other employer offers within the curriculum. They will create and implement a structure for employer engagement which reflects the school’s demographic and maintain a robust network of partners within the local business community. In doing so they support school management in fulfilling national priorities around employability, Career Education Standard and Work Placement Standard.
In addition, the introduction of regional school Coordinators will help meet the National Performance Framework, particularly:
- Education – “We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society” and
- Fair Work and Business – “We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone.”
- Economy – “we have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy”
It is clear that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the people of Scotland, in particular young people, who are amongst those hardest hit by the pandemic. That is why the Scottish Government has responded quickly to the Youth Employment challenges and appointed Sandy Begbie to lead the work on the Young Person’s Guarantee. As referenced in Sandy’s report – Young Person’s Guarantee - No-one Left Behind: initial report (2020) -, DYW has an important role in the Guarantee, and the Coordinators will particularly contribute to “ensure[ing] our young people receive the right education that is aligned with the future needs of the Scottish economy.”
Equalities is carefully being considered as part of the implementation of Young Persons Guarantee, and a Young Persons Guarantee EQIA has also been undertaken and published as part of that work.
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