Developing the Young Workforce: annual report 2014-15

The first annual report on Scotland's youth employment strategy, setting out progress in year one of implementing the seven-year programme.

Chapter 4 – Employers

Employers’ Investment in the Young Workforce


  • We are ensuring that our approach has strong leadership from industry. Rob Woodward ( STV) is chairing the National Developing the Young Workforce Group, an expert group drawing its membership from industry, local government, education and the trade unions.
  • Regional DYW Regional Groups have been launched in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, East Lothian & Midlothian, Fife, Glasgow, North East, North Highland and West Region. In all cases industry leadership and local authority (school and economic development) and college partnership have been central to the establishment of the groups.
  • Employer Engagement has been supported by £2.6m from the Developing the Young Workforce implementation budget in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • £0.75m from the Developing the Young Workforce implementation budget in 2014-15 and 2015-16 has been invested in the Investors in Young People Accolade, as part of a total £1m Scottish Government investment over the two years. To date, 193 employers have been awarded the accolade and Investors in People Scotland are currently working with 100 more on IIYP.

Employers: Introduction

The Commission indicated that employer engagement in the implementation of its recommendations would be crucial and we knew that progress on implementation would not be made without employer buy-in. The aim is to involve employers, in a range of practical ways, in better preparing young people for the world of work. It was also obvious to employers large and small that key to their own succession planning and economic growth would be a pipeline of future talent, drawn from a wider range of young people better reflecting Scottish society.

And that has proven to be a significant factor in the early success of the Developing the Young Workforce programme. The industry-led National DYW Group driving the creation and development of the DYW Regional Groups,led by Rob Woodward of STV, together with a team of experts drawn from the private and public sectors who have championed the development of industry-led infrastructure to support the involvement employers in DYW activity.

There are now seven Regional DYW Groups operating across Scotland. These have been built on enthusiastic partnership between the private and public sectors with work taking place across the country to establish full national coverage.

The Scottish Government has committed to three years of funding for DYW Regional Groups. Crucially, the Regional Groups should be self-supporting after this, creating a sustainable focus for employer engagement in the region. A number of the groups already established represent some of the good practice that has existed in regions and nationally, as the Commission recognised.

However our strategy is to spread good practice across the country and the network of Regional Groups will help drive this in the years ahead. No longer should strong employer ties with education be based solely on individual relationships with those ties broken when individuals move on from their post in a school, college or employer.

Equally successful has been the Investors in Young People accolade. There are two parts to this accreditation: the accolade itself as a benchmark of success for employers large and small, and the accreditation framework. For some employers exploring how they can engage with young people has proved invaluable The IIYP framework and support from Investors in People Scotland has helped place the recruitment and development of young people on a strong footing for employers of all types across the country.

Employer organisations and a range of individual employers provided a valuable input to the development of the Guidance for School/Employer partnerships, and the new Standard for Work Placements, in particular stressing the benefits to employers.

This work with employers sits alongside our wider efforts on Fair Work and the Business Pledge which has DYW activity as a key element.

Scottish Government is working with the Scottish Futures Trust to identify and promote best practice in the use of procurement in the recruitment and development of young people. Scottish Government in partnership with SDS has created a public sector network to support the public sector’s contribution to the DYW implementation programme.

The Scottish Government itself has set a target of 100 apprenticeship opportunities in 2015/16, achieved the Investors in Young People Standard and has entered into a long term school/employer partnership with John Paul Academy in Glasgow, facilitated by the Glasgow DYW Regional Group.

As we move through the second year of implementation and beyond, we need to focus our efforts on getting maximum value out of these reinvigorated connections between education and employment. A programme of activity will be developed and implemented to share and extend best practice across the network of Regional Groups with ongoing input and support from the DYW National Group.

Progress So Far



Programme Progress

Detailed Update

Industry led DYW National Group to oversee the establishment of DYW Regional Groups in place and joint Local Government and Scottish Government working group established.


The National DYW group was established on the 8 December 2014, membership of which can be found in Annex D.

A national framework outlining the process is now in place to support the establishment of the remaining Regional DYW Groups. Across Scotland partners are working to develop proposals to establish Regional DYW Groups in all parts of Scotland.

Establishment of first tranche of DYW Regional Groups.


Regional DYW Groups have been established in:

  • Ayrshire
  • Edinburgh, East Lothian & Midlothian
  • Fife
  • Glasgow
  • North East
  • North Highland
  • West Region

In all cases industry leadership and local authority and college partnership have been central to the establishment of the groups.

The National Group is considering further regional proposals as we work towards full roll out across Scotland.

The Investors in Young People ( IIYP) accolade launched.


The IIYP accolade was launched in July 2014 and, as at 20 November 2015, 193 organisations across the public and private sector have achieved IIYP accreditation.

Education Scotland establishes external reference group in partnership with industry to inform the development of approaches to inspection and review across education sectors (schools, colleges, and other settings).


The group has been established and provided a strong emphasis on how employers can help to influence the curriculum and contribute to more employer-focussed inspection and review procedures.

Commitments to develop the young workforce agreed with public sector employers.


NHS has committed to providing a total of 500 Modern Apprenticeship opportunities over a 3 year period. NHS reports annually on its contribution to DYW implementation.

Scottish Government has set a target for 100 additional apprenticeship opportunities in 2015/16 as well as achieving the Investors in Young People Standard.

Local authorities are developing a framework to report on their contribution as employers to the delivery of DYW.

Public bodies have been asked by Ministers to develop invest in youth plans. Progress will be monitored annually.

Key themes and milestones for employer engagement

Achieving our ambitions for the young workforce requires a focus on the following themes in relation to employer engagement:

  • Enhanced industry leadership and engagement.
  • Stronger partnerships between employers and education.
  • Recruitment of young people at the heart of workforce planning across the private, public and third sectors.

The milestones set out below detail what this will involve over the lifetime of the programme.

During 2015 – 2016, we are already seeing:

  • More DYW Regional Groups in place;
  • Guidance on school/employer partnerships developed with input from employers, local authorities, DYW National Group and other partners;
  • Supported employment opportunities in the third sector provided for care leavers and other groups of young people who face significant barriers to employment;
  • Introduction of Regional Selective Assistance ( RSA) conditionality where appropriate;
  • Lead body identified to identify good practice in the recruitment of young disabled people.

And in the remainder of 2015-16 we expect to see:

  • Industry led DYW Regional Groups established in more parts of Scotland;
  • New services provided to growth companies by the enterprise bodies;
  • Alignment of the activity of DYW Regional Groups and that of Investors in People Scotland in the promotion of the Investors in Young People accolade;
  • Education Scotland capacity building activities and approaches to external evaluation are more informed by the needs of employers;
  • New work placement standards for college learners published.

During 2016 – 2017, we will see:

  • Support school leaders in promoting career pathway planning with opportunities for emerging school leaders to engage directly with industry;
  • Regional Skills Assessments updated;
  • Refocus general employability support to young people to those who face greatest barriers to employment.

During 2017 – 2018, we will see:

  • School/employer partnerships operating in most secondary schools;
  • Introduction of supported work placement programme for young disabled people;
  • Skills Investment Plans refreshed taking account of senior phase vocational pathways;
  • Delivery of mentoring support for young people in care as part of the Investors in Young People accolade.

During 2018 – 2019, we will see:

  • Meaningful and productive school/employer partnerships operating in all secondary schools.

During 2019 – 2020, we will see:

  • Employer satisfaction driving parts of the system nationally and informing regional curriculum planning fully.

During 2020 – 2021, we will see:

  • Sustainable structures to support employers’ active contribution in place and contributing effectively to the development of the young workforce.

Education Working for All! Recommendations

This activity delivers recommendations 11, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 36, 39 .

Measures [6]

KPI 1 - Be one of the top five performing countries in the EU for youth unemployment by reducing the relative ratio of youth unemployment to 25-64 unemployment to the level of the fifth best country in the EU by 2021.

KPI 2 - Be one of the top five performing countries in the EU for youth unemployment by reducing the youth unemployment rate to match the fifth best country in the EU by 2021.

KPI 6 - Increase the percentage of employers recruiting young people directly from education to 35 per cent by 2018.


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