Developing the young workforce: Scotland's youth employment strategy

Sets out how the Scottish Government will implement the recommendations from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.

Annex C



Developing the Young Workforce Programme

The Scottish Government's response to the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce, chaired by Sir Ian Wood, is built around a programme management structure. The attached diagram highlights the main structures for driving activity to develop a world class vocational education system in Scotland, reducing youth unemployment levels to those of the best performing countries in Europe.

To provide oversight of - and direction on - the Change Theme plans, and to ensure connections are made across themes, the Scottish Government has established a programme board chaired by Aileen Mckechnie, Director of Advanced Learning and Science, with membership drawn from local and central government, the college sector and the business community. The programme board takes political and senior stakeholder guidance from the National Advisory Group. Jointly chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training and Councillor Douglas Chapman (COSLA), with Sir Ian Wood as a member, the inaugural meeting will be in early 2015. Oversight of the delivery of plans is provided by the programme board, which has met four times in 2014 and plans to meet again in early 2015 on a quarterly cycle.

The recommendations are grouped into Change Themes that map broadly against relevant parts of the system: provision in schools through the Broad General Education (Change Theme 1), senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence (Change Theme 2), college provision (Change Theme 3), training and apprenticeships (Change Theme 4), and engagement with employers (Change Theme 5).

Equality is addressed throughout the programme in line with Ministerial request that the final Commission report focus particularly on occupational segregation and reaching those young people furthest from the labour market. Collaboration is therefore central to our efforts: no Change Theme can deliver their part of the programme without input and buy-in from another. Change Theme Leads are drawn from Scottish Government and Education Scotland with input from delivery partners across the programme.

Programme Roles

Programme Board

  • Agrees the programme can start by approving the Programme Initiation Document
  • Reviews progress
  • Agrees the resources required
  • Sets the overall strategy and looks at how the programme links in with other initiatives
  • Provides expertise and advice to drive the strategy

Senior Responsible Owner

  • Secures the relevant resource for the programme
  • Ensures the success of the programme
  • Establishes the business case
  • Leads the strategic direction and progress of the programme
  • Supports the Programme Director
  • Chairs the Programme Board
  • Accepts and signs off programme documents

Programme Director

  • Manages the programme team
  • Supports the success of the programme
  • Leads operational matters and progress of the programme
  • Advise and manage issues of escalated risk

Programme Manager

  • Manages the programme day-to-day
  • Plans, monitors and controls the work
  • Reports progress through Highlight Reports
  • Creates and maintains the Risk Register
  • Ensure all risks are identified, recorded in the Risk Register and regularly reviewed
  • Prepares the Quality Management Strategy

Programme Team

  • Supports Senior Responsible Owner, Programme Director and Programme Manager
  • Ensures the programme is understood and has a profile with relevant policy interests across the Scottish Government and contributes to their development
  • Advises Ministers
  • Monitors and responds to political and other pressures
  • Carries out the work required to coordinate and schedule activity of the programme.
  • Ensures risks related to the Business Case are identified, assessed and controlled
  • Assists the Programme Manager with the maintenance of the Risk Register
  • Provides administrative support for quality controls
  • Maintains the Quality Register and the quality records

Change Theme Leads

  • Establish a plan for change theme activity and controls its work
  • Ensure progress against each milestone in the global plan
  • Responsible for the delivery of the day-to-day work of each change theme
  • Ensure risks to the achievement of milestones are identified, assessed and controlled
  • Participate in the identification, assessment and control of risks
  • Review risk management procedures to ensure they are performed in line with the Risk Management Strategy
  • Establish stakeholder quality expectations and acceptance criteria
  • Approve the Quality Management Strategy from a stakeholder perspective
  • Approve any quality methods, techniques and tools


Programme Board

Aileen McKechnie, Director, Advanced Learning and Science in the Scottish Government, will act as Senior Responsible Officer leading the DYW implementation programme, and chairing a programme board to which lead officials will be accountable for progress.


  • Aileen McKechnie- Chair (Scottish Government, Director of Advanced Learning and Science)
  • Linda McKay (ex-Principal, Forth Valley College; Wood Commissioner)
  • Christine Pollock (ex-Director of Education North Lanarkshire, Wood Commissioner)
  • Sylvia Halkerston (Former HR Director, Macphie of Glenbervie; Scottish Funding Council/Skills Development Scotland Joint Skills Committee; Wood Commissioner)
  • Fiona Robertson (Scottish Government, Director of Learning)
  • Mhairi Harrington (Principal, West Lothian College)
  • Terry Lanagan (Director of Education West Dunbartonshire, Curriculum for Excellence Management. Board)
  • Carol Henry (HR Director, Arnold Clark)
  • Paul McKelvie OBE (Board member Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Funding Council)
  • Ken Milroy (Chair of North East Scotland College)
  • Mike Callaghan (CoSLA)

The National Advisory Group

The National Advisory Group is designed to provide formal expression of the guiding coalition that supports the DYW programme: through its members it will be able to promote the associated vision to stakeholders across Scotland.


  • Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training; Councillor Douglas Chapman, CoSLA (joint retained chair)
  • Sir Ian Wood
  • Brian Johnstone (Regional College Chair, Dumfries & Galloway)
  • John Fyffe (President, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland)
  • Iain Ellis (Chair, National Parent Forum Scotland)
  • Larry Flanagan (EIS General Secretary)
  • Grahame Smith (STUC General Secretary, Wood Commissioner)
  • (Chief Executive, Scottish Youth Parliament)
  • Polly Purvis (Executive Director ScotlandIS: trade body for ICT industry in Scotland)
  • Morna Simpson (founder of Girl Geek Scotland, Managing Director of FlockEdu)
  • Annag Maclean (Headteacher, Castlebay High)
  • Elma Murray (SOLACE representative)

National Invest in Young People Group

The National Invest in Young People Group provides expert guidance fromindustry, local government, the college and trade unions to oversee the establishment of a network of regional employer-led groups, a key recommendation of the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce. The National Group is chaired by Rob Woodward.

  • Rob Woodward (CE, STV) - Chair
  • Sue Bruce (CE, City of Edinburgh Council; Wood Commissioner)
  • Grahame Smith (STUC General Secretary; Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise Board; Wood Commissioner)
  • Sylvia Halkerston (Former HR Director, Macphie of Glenbervie; Scottish Funding Council/Skills Development Scotland Joint Skills Committee; Wood Commissioner)
  • Liz Cameron (CE, Scottish Chambers of Commerce)
  • Colin Borland (Head of External Affairs Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses)
  • John Stewart (Director of HR, Scottish and Southern Energy)
  • Heather Dunk (Principal, Ayrshire College)
  • Graeme Waddell (Skills Development Scotland Board, ex. Rolls Royce, Chair of Energen Biogas)


Email: Josh McCormack

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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