Education working for all: developing Scotland's young workforce

Final report from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce, with 39 recommendations for enhancing vocational education.

Appendix 1 - Performance Indicators

The implementation of the Commission's recommendations must be assessed against some key indicators.

The unifying purpose of all the work to implement the Commission's recommendations is to increase the rate of youth employment with better qualified young people who are better prepared to succeed in the modern labour market and to encourage more employers to recruit young people from education.

The drivers toward this outcome are the education and preparation of young people for the world of work and employers willing to engage with education and employ young people as illustrated in the following diagram.

Illustration of engaging with education and employing young people

Scotland's youth unemployment

The current youth unemployment rate in Scotland is 18.8% [33] ( UK is 18.4%) against the all age working population unemployment rate is 6.4%. [34] Increasing youth employment levels will be the major impact of the successful implementation of the Commission's recommendations.

Increased number of school leavers with industry recognised qualifications

The senior phase vocational pathways which we have recommended will, if implemented successfully, see a significant increase in the number of young people leaving school with qualifications which better prepare them for further study, Modern Apprenticeships and other employment opportunities. The opportunity to study for NC/ HNC and other vocational qualifications while still at school will help young people develop skills and attain knowledge, which will prepare them for life after school. Similarly the opportunity to undertake Foundation Apprenticeships in the senior phase will make young people much more attractive to employers seeking to recruit Modern Apprentices.

Attainment of these qualifications should be a key indicator to be tracked over time.

College education focused on employment and progression in learning

Colleges have a central role in the development of Scotland's young workforce. Young people choosing to go to college do so in order to improve their employment opportunities and chances to progress to higher levels of study. The gap in information here should be addressed as a priority and the employment and higher study outcomes of college education should be a key indicator to be tracked going forward.

Modern Apprenticeships focused on higher levels and wider more diverse access

The Commission has made a number of recommendations on the future development of Modern Apprenticeships. These are designed to widen the range of opportunities available within this increasingly important pathway and to offer an increased number of higher level Modern Apprenticeships. This development of the system should be carefully monitored over time.

More employers recruiting young people and engaging with education

Employers make by far the most important contribution to youth employment. Without more employers stepping forward and recruiting young people we will not see the improvements that we all wish to see. This and employers' contribution to education must therefore be key indicators.

Key Performance Indicators

The aim is to monitor a small number of indicators from existing sources or in some instances create a new baseline data set which can, where possible, be collected through existing mechanisms and to track progress over time. Key Performance Indicators and targets are detailed in the tables below.

Key Performance Indicators

No. Measure Current Baseline Target Source
1 The relative ratio of youth unemployment to 16-64 unemployment. Current multiple of 16-64 unemployment rate to 16-24 year old unemployment 2.9. Decrease in the multiple of the 16-64 year old unemployment rate to the 16-44 year old unemployment rate, to 1.6 by 2020. ONS Labour Force Survey (based on non-seasonally adjusted figures).
2 The youth unemployment rate in relation to the best performing European countries. Top 5 European average currently 11.0% - Scotland currently 18.8%. Scotland currently ranked 9. Improvement toward the average youth unemployment rate of the 5 best performing European countries by 2020. Eurostat and ONS Labour Force Survey.
3 School leavers not attaining a Higher, but attaining an industry relevant vocational qualification. No baseline information currently collected in this form. 60 per cent of pupils who don't achieve a Higher leave the senior phase with an industry recognised vocational qualification at SCQF level 5 and above by 2020. This information is not currently published. It should be collected as part of school leaver destination statistics.
4 The number of young college students moving into employment or higher level study. No baseline information currently collected. A target up to 2020 should be set when baseline data is available. This information is not currently collected - Scottish Funding Council is currently piloting collection of this information.
5 The number of Modern Apprenticeships at level 3 and above. In 2013/14 15,655 MA starts were at level 3 and above. 20,000 MA starts at level 3 and above by 2020. Skills Development Scotland.
6 Percentage of employers recruiting young people directly from education In 2012 29% of employers recruited a young person directly from education. 35% employers recruit a young person from education by 2018. UKCES Employer Skills Survey.
No. Measure Current Baseline Target Source
7 Percentage of MA frameworks/College superclasses where the gender balance is 75%/25% or worse. In 2012/13 three quarters of MA frameworks and half of college superclasses were in this position. Reduces to 60% for MA frameworks and 40% for college superclasses by 2020. SDS MA statistics. SFC college statistics.
8 MA starts from non-white BME groups. In 2012/13 less than 2% of MA starts were from non-white BME groups. Move toward population share by 2020. SDS MA statistics.
9 Employment rate for disabled young people. In 2012 41.3%. Move toward population average by 2020. ONS Annual Population Survey.
10 School leaver destinations among looked after children. In 2013 1 in 3 were unemployed 9 months after leaving school. Reduce toward population average by 2020. Education Outcomes for Scotland's Looked After Children, Scottish Government.


Email: Fraser Young,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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