Developing the young workforce: fifth annual progress report 2018-2019

Fifth annual report of developing the young workforce covers academic year 2018 to 2019 and highlights early progress made in the first part of academic year 2019-2020.

Annex A: Update on the progress of the Education and Skills Committee Inquiry recommendations


Scottish Government response

3. A key indicator of a culture shift generated from DYW would be if, by the end of the programme, young people consider there is parity of information provision on all the options available to them. The Committee recommends that the Government undertakes a large-scale quantitative survey of young people to seek to establish whether DYW has sufficiently progressed the culture shift towards achieving parity of information on options. The survey should take place by the end of 2021

The Scottish Government have engaged with Ipsos MORI to participate in the 2019 Young People in Scotland survey, a schools-based survey which explores the views experience and aspirations of young people. Through this process we have asked young people about their views on work-based learning, its promotion within schools, their participation in work experience and engagement with employers more broadly. The survey took place at the beginning of this academic year, results will be available in early 2020. We will use the data gathered from this to baseline progress, and will participate in the 2021 survey to review the progress DYW has made by the end of the programme.

Scottish Government and a range of partners also ran a social media campaign promoting and celebrating the breadth of options available to young people throughout their Senior Phase, using the hashtag #MyLearnerJourney. This included a successful SQA results day event held at Forth Valley College in August 2019. The campaign showcased the variety of options available and celebrated young people's achievements across a range of awards, qualifications and pathways.

In addition, work has been taken forward on Learner Journey Recommendation 2, on the development of Regional Prospectuses. A set of draft design principles have been identified and further work will be undertaken on testing and exemplification.

4. The Committee welcomes the Scottish Government's review of careers information as an opportunity to further improve provision of one-to-one careers advice. The Committee considers that, now that Skills Development Scotland has completed much of the work establishing elements of the DYW structure, its resources should be redeployed to increase its focus on the provision of one-to-one advice for young people. The Committee recommends that the Government makes clear, including in its next letter of guidance to SDS, and in associated funding allocations, that a key priority for SDS in schools is increasing the provision of high quality and sustained advice.

As referenced in our response to the Committee, the Scottish Government is not conducting a review of careers information, but is undertaking, in collaboration with partners, the development of a new careers strategy, which will be published shortly. The Scottish Government have developed this strategy collaboratively with the careers provision sector.

The new strategy will build on the significant redesign and improvement of careers services since 2011, when the last careers strategy was published, and the Career Education Standard 3 – 18 delivered through DYW. The Standard states that in order to realise the ambitions set out in the document it will require "real and effective partnership working between parents/carers, local authorities, teachers/practitioners, Skills Development Scotland, employers and others". The Strategy will take these principles and seek to embed them across the all age service, which Scottish Government is absolutely committed to.

5. The Committee considers the careers information review should focus on increasing the level of advice available on a universal basis and also to target groups. To ensure mutual understanding of what young people want and need from careers advice, young people should be central to this review. Any changes that need to be developed, for example to expand the 'universal offer', should be co-designed with young people. Finally, the review should seek the views of young people as to whether they require careers advice at an earlier stage, and in what form.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are our national delivery body who ensure careers services are delivered to national standards and are shaped to meet the needs of local service users. The Scottish Government fully endorses the targeted delivery model that ensures those young people identified as requiring further support, in addition to the standard offer, receive additional support at the point in time they need it. This approach to service delivery is continually informed by service user experience and SDS, and is externally reviewed by Education Scotland.

We note the Committee's recommendation and views regarding the importance of one-to-one advice, particularly for groups who are in need of additional support in engaging with the education and skills system.

6. The Committee considers that the value of one-to-one advice exceeds that of online resources particularly for some target groups such as disadvantaged young people who often require the most support. This can include those living in low income households that

Education and Skills Committee Young People's Pathways: a progress report on Developing the Young Workforce, 6th Report, 2018 (Session 5) do not have digital access outside school. Progressing personal online accounts for young people, however sophisticated, will not have the same impact on certain target groups as one-to-one advice. The Committee recommends that where there are funding or other resource allocation decisions to be made between progressing online work and increasing one-to-one advice, there should be a significant weighting towards one-to-one provision.

The Scottish Government endorses the targeted delivery model that ensures those young people identified as requiring further support, in addition to the standard offer, receive additional support at the point in time they need it. The Scottish Government engages regularly with SDS to review their service offer, ensuring these are being delivered in line with our expectations. We want to reassure the committee that digital solutions, such as the MyWoW website, are intended to complement and enhance face to face support for those receiving it, not replace it. A high standard of Careers IAG provision and one-to-one engagement continues to be a priority for SDS. This is continually monitored to ensure the service meets user needs, particularly for those who require additional support.

8. The Committee recommends the Scottish Government explores the extent to which implementation of the National Action Plan on parental involvement in their children's learning could usefully include further work to assist parental involvement in careers advice.

The Scottish Government has worked with the National Parent Forum Scotland to produce a series of Nutshell guides, providing information and context for parents in relation to Curriculum for Excellence, Wider Achievement and the Senior Phase.

9: The Committee recognises the considerable amount of positive work being undertaken at school level towards DYW implementation. The Committee considers that realistic expectations for this work should be placed on schools at the present time given the resource constraints highlighted in evidence to the Committee, and the multiple policy initiatives schools are implementing at the present time. In this context, fresh consideration needs to be given to the adequacy of available funding and staff time for schools given their key role in the delivery of DYW. The Committee reiterates its view from its previous inquiry reports that a continued emphasis on reducing teacher workload is vital.

The Scottish Government continues to monitor the impact of DYW, and other strategies, on school resource and teacher workloads.

It is important to recognise that decisions around curriculum design and delivery rest with local authorities and we look to them to ensure education is being delivered in ways which are manageable and achievable.

10: The Committee recommends that the expectation that resourcing for DYW will be met from school core funding should be revisited to assess: • whether it is realistic that DYW can be fully implemented in schools by 2021; and • whether the expectation DYW will be met from core funding diminishes the likelihood of a focus on implementing DYW in the longer term.

The Scottish Government acknowledges that progress in implementing DYW will be variable across Scotland. This reflects the different starting points – reflecting history, geography and demography - of each local authority. Recognising this, it is the programme's reasonable ambition to achieve a step-change in practice in most schools which we can further refine and develop over time to deliver a consistent learner experience in all schools.

To help capacity build this step-change, we were absolutely clear at the outset of DYW, that there would be funding available for the first two years of the programme. The aim being that this investment would establish sustainable networks and partnerships which would provide the platform for further change, encouraging change from within the system rather than dependency on additional resource for additional activity.

The programme is based upon a mainstreaming ambition to achieve different outcomes from existing investment, by doing different things with existing resources and by partners working differently together. We will continue to monitor progress against the implementation plan – to assess the full cost and benefits of the programme.

12. The Committee requests a detailed update from the Scottish Government and Education Scotland on work towards creating new performance indicators on vocational pathways that are to be measured and published alongside other school performance indicators. The Committee wants to know why performance indicators have not been produced by this stage. The Committee also wants to know what resources have been allocated to this work and which part of Education Scotland is responsible for the delivery of work towards milestones. The Committee requests this update, including a timeline with milestones for delivery, in formal responses to this report from the Scottish Government and Education Scotland.

Scottish Government officials are working with statisticians on options to include a wider range of qualifications and awards in the National Statistics on school leaver attainment and the National Improvement Framework (NIF). There is an aim to publish some experimental data in February 2020, which would then start a formal consultation on the inclusion of a wider range of qualification/ awards in the National Statistics (a formal consultation is required for changes to National Statistics).

13. The Committee has agreed that Personal and Social Education, including the variability in the time it receives in schools, and the importance placed upon it in schools, is a priority for further scrutiny. Once the Scottish Government's PSE review is complete the Committee will undertake further work on this important issue.

The PSE Review, published in January 2019, identified 16 recommendations to strengthen delivery of PSE in Scottish schools. Specific recommendations from the PSE review align with recommendations from the Learner Journey Review (LJR).

The recommendations centre on giving teachers a clear direction on where to access support for senior phase pupils preparing for life after school. The proposed PSE Toolkit can include the relevant signposts for teachers to the information and support mechanisms the LJR recommendations will help deliver.

The Review also recommends the creation of a senior phase mentoring programme for pupils to design and deliver aspects of PSE while working towards an award, is being taken forward in collaboration with the LJR where a number of well‑established programmes offering mentoring to different cohorts of young people have been highlighted. These will be collated and any potential gaps identified by the Learner Journey Directors Group, who will also contribute thoughts on further work required in this area. Outcomes from this work can be signposted to from the proposed PSE Toolkit.

14. The Committee considers that there should be equal support provided in schools for making applications regardless of the route a young person plans to take. The Committee highlights to the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland the potential unintended consequence of the lack of an equivalent to the UCAS process for those going to college or direct into employment. Cohorts of students may feel at a disadvantage, or less of a priority, compared to those who are applying through the UCAS process during lesson time. The Committee recommends that, where resources allow, schools are seeking to ensure that students who do not want to apply to university are also being supported in progressing their career pathways during the lesson time used for the completion of UCAS forms.

Education Scotland in collaboration with a national steering group has developed guidance to support teachers and practitioners to realise the entitlement expressed within the Career Education Standard to profile learner experiences and skills in relation to their future career pathways. In addition, SDS have enhanced their My World of Work website to support learners record their achievements and skills and the planning of their learner journeys.

16. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government instructs an amendment to the Work Placement Standard to include a module on 'what to expect on work placements'. The Committee seeks further information from the Scottish Government as to whether consideration has previously been given to this proposal made by Sir Ian Wood, including whether any education authorities undertake work of this kind that could be highlighted to others as best practice.

At this time, the Scottish Government's position remains that no amendment is necessary to the Work Placement Standard.

We have, however, been working in collaboration with Education Scotland, Local Authorities and the DYW Regional Groups to create online resource to provide guidance and case study examples of work placements and work-related learning. This includes showcasing senior phase work placement models that support a learner-specific approach to work placement delivery.

17. The Committee was struck by the importance placed by young people on practical experience through work placements and the range of benefits work placements, based on young people's preferences, can have. Evidence reflected the fact that early and varied work placements can be of particular importance and value for those who choose to leave school on the statutory date. The Committee recommends that, where it is possible to identify in advance students who are clear that their intention is to leave school at this stage, these young people should be offered an enhanced opportunity for work placements.

Education Scotland's national steering group on the implementation of the Work Placement Standard has developed a suite of resources to support schools to deliver flexible or extended work experience placements, particularly at key transition stages, including statutory leavers.

18. Where appropriate and practical, young people termed 'statutory leavers' should take priority in opportunities for work experience of their choosing. In addition, SDS and schools should ensure that, where possible, work experience for these students should be in excess of what is provided for in the Work Placements Standard, with the assumption being they will have the chance to undertake at least two work placements.

The Scottish Government is working closely with Education Scotland to take forward a piece of work to look at the offer currently available for statutory leavers across the country, joining up work on DYW Recommendation 13 and Learner Journey Recommendation 7.

21. The Committee highlights to the Scottish Government and SDS the amount of evidence it has received on barriers to the increased provision and uptake of foundation apprenticeships. It welcomes assurances from SDS that 5,000 foundation apprenticeships will be available for the 2019-20 academic year and requests an update from SDS on the actual number available and the uptake achieved in due course.

The Committee will welcome SDS's delivery commitment to provider of over 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities this academic year. SDS are in the process of determining the uptake of this offerwill publish their progress report on Foundation Apprenticeships in February 2020 and this will include data on uptake for Cohort 4 (2019-21).

22. The Committee is concerned that KPIs on positive destinations for care experienced young people and on the employment rate for disabled young people are not being met. This is the case despite a focus from SDS, Education Scotland and schools to provide targeted support.

23. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government commissions an independent piece of research to establish why the targeted work is not resulting in the percentage increase in positive destinations and employment rates for young people as intended in the Government's milestones for DYW. This should have a specific focus on young people with disabilities and also care experienced young people.

24. The Committee further recommends that the review focuses on qualitative evidence gathered from young people to gain their perspective on the support received and on what further support would have been beneficial.

The Committee rightly recognises the work that SDS, Education Scotland and schools are undertaking to provide targeted support for care experienced young people and disabled young people.

Apprenticeships are only one of the positive destinations available, but SDS has implemented a range of measures to support disabled and care experienced young people to access and sustain apprenticeships. For example, SDS now provides enhanced funding for Modern Apprentices up to the age of 29 for disabled and care experienced young people. This recognises that these young people often experience later entry to the labour market than their peers. SDS is undertaking an evaluation of the uptake, effectiveness and impact of this funding and this will be concluded in 2019-20.

26. The Committee notes the emphasis and importance placed on DYW regional groups in engaging with SMEs. The Committee recommends that the Government ensures that trade bodies have a stronger presence on regional groups, to seek to improve the links between DYW groups and small to medium sized enterprises.

The Committee is right to note the importance of engagement with SME's as these make up the majority of employers within most regions. Regional Groups have reported increased engagement with SME's across the board and are providing support to a number to allow them to either engage more with schools in their region or participate at a board level.

27. The Committee is concerned that the key performance indicator target on increasing the percentage of employers recruiting young people directly from education has not been achieved, with recorded performance against this target remaining the same since 2014.

The DYW Regional Groups continue to work with Education Scotland and schools to prioritise this work. The Scottish Government have carried out a survey of approximately 2,650 employers to better understand the progress of this work and will publish output from this on 10 December 2019. The survey looked at employers participation in work placements, their direct recruitment of young people and young peoples' preparedness for work.

31. The Committee invites the Scottish Government to set out in its response to this report what work is underway at a national level to assist rural and island communities in:

  • generating opportunities locally with an emphasis on transferable skills; and
  • ensuring young people are aware of and able to take part in national initiatives, such as opportunities generated by the STEM strategy.

The Scottish Government continues to prioritise supporting rural communities to engage with DYW and the STEM Strategy.

The DYW regional groups are now operational in all of Scotland – and are focused on ensuring the employer groups are active in all parts of Scotland and that their efforts are aligned with other Government initiatives. This includes the rural apprenticeship supplement which the Scottish Government launched to provide additional support to training providers in these areas.

In addition, the STEM strategy encompasses a wide range of initiatives, some of these have a national focus and some are more regional and local. Each of the 13 college regions, for example, have led the development of regional STEM strategies, including the development of regional partnerships – to raise the profile of stem with young people, communities and adult learners.

34. As highlighted in this report, the pace of progress in implementing DYW is not presently sufficient to ensure the programme will be fully embedded by 2021. The Committee highlights this risk to the Government at this mid-way stage in the programme to enable it to look at ways for the programme to find a renewed emphasis in the next three years. While the priority must be on increasing momentum to deliver the programme by 2021, the Committee also recommends that the Scottish Government gives early consideration to contingency planning, including producing milestones for DYW that extend beyond 2021.

As members will note from this annual report, the Scottish Government have undertaken a process of reviewing implementation plans, in conjunction with agencies and partners. This resulted in updated plans being submitted to, and subsequently approved by, the DYW Programme Board on 13 November. Activity focused on increasing the pace of change is detailed throughout this report.



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