Developing the Young Workforce: 2017-2018 progress report

The fourth annual progress report of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) programme.

Getting the message

Young people leading a national campaign to promote choice.

Young Scot has been supporting the Scottish Government’s work on DYW and its review of the 15 – 24 Learner Journey throughout 2018.

This has seen young people positioned at the heart of key decision making and policy development as part of the Year of Young People. We want the legacy of their work this year to live on so that young people continue to be involved in this work and continue to be at the centre of the learner journey, and DYW implementation, until 2021.

Young people have been clear with us about the developments they’d like to see within the learner journey – and these included; an education and learning system that was less focussed on university, and more on what the student wants; college as a positive option and for vocational courses to be seen as a worthwhile step to work or a degree; and an acknowledgement that learning skills can help them contribute to the needs of the Scottish economy.

The development of the DYW programme by the Scottish Government aims to offer greater choice for learners in school by broadening choice and to motivate more young people to continue to learn and progress through the education and learning system effectively. Young people tell us that it’s a real improvement that, for example, by completing a college course whilst in school, they can take charge of their learning pathway and don’t have to wait to leave school to study things which are of interest to them.

To help everyone understand the message, young people are now working across Scotland to develop a DYW national campaign. Young Scot will support these young people to change perceptions about choices and where they can lead to. Young Scot will be supporting a codesign group of young people who in the months ahead, young people will be engaging with schools, colleges, employers, parents and practitioners to support the creation of key information, and to inform the development of a national communications strategy to support the message that there is no wrong path.

To ensure these messages capture the needs of all young people, Young Scot will be working with young people from YouthLink Scotland, Colleges, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership.

We look forward to supporting the Scottish Government in this activity and encourage young people to participate in the codesign of this programme.

We also look forward to reporting back our findings in next year’s annual report.

For further information please contact:

Case study: No wrong pathway to getting to higher education and work.

Iona, young person

Looking back, school was challenging for me. I felt that there was not enough support in place for individuals with extra needs e.g. anxiety or depression. My dad passed away in 2011 (when I was 16) which also wouldn’t have helped my confidence or general happiness at school in the later stages. I left school aged 17 and went to Perth College to do HNC Social Care. The smaller classes and extra lecturers meant we got a lot more help and more informative feedback on our work. I can’t remember ever getting as good feedback in school. Also, in College the lecturers speak to you in a more respectable manner meaning my confidence grew in buckets here.

After college I volunteered in South Africa for 9 months with a charity called Project Trust. Thankfully, they had come to do a talk at my school just before I left. Whilst I was at college I had been fundraising to go on this trip. Schools could do more to bring up these opportunities, for example at assemblies, or discussing other work opportunities that are not what young people typically go into. Working for NGO’s or taking a volunteering gap year is something I never heard about before College.

I also feel that more could be done to promote common career paths such as social care or council jobs. Schools need to look at and discuss a much wider range of careers. Most of the time schools are pushing for students to attend university to keep their stats high. This system doesn’t work because university only suits some people and isn’t always the most beneficial route.

As I needed a bit of extra help at school I was invited to workshops that prepared you for the workplace. I think everyone in the year should have had this opportunity. Other workshops that should be introduced should be aimed at building confidence and self-esteem and managing your own finances in aid of preparing pupils for life post school. It would be fantastic if within the DYW scheme university/college students, or those recently employed, came to present in schools as to what life is like and how to prepare for it.


Email: Paul Fagan

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