Implementation of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) School Coordinators - Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment

A Fairer Scotland Duty (FSD) impact assessment on the implementation of DYW School Coordinators

Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment

Title of Policy

Implementation of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) School Coordinators.

Summary of aims and expected outcomes of the policy

Strengthening the role of Regional Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Groups was outlined in recommendations published by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board (2020) (ESSB) and the Young Person Guarantee No One Left Behind (2020). The ESSB recommendations identified a need to add capacity through the introduction of funded DYW School Coordinators across secondary schools in Scotland. This has also been a long term ask of the Employer's Forum following on from the successful pilots in Glasgow and Fife.

The main role of the DYW Coordinators will be to support senior management in the school to embed the Developing the Young Workforce Strategy and other employer offers within the curriculum. They will work with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Careers Information, Advice and Guidance advisors and others to promote vocational learning pathways through the creation of a structure for employer engagement which reflects the school's demographic and maintain a robust network of partners within the local business community. In doing so they support school management in fulfilling national priorities around employability, Career Education Standard and Work Placement Standard.

The policy will affect:

  • Young people – primarily secondary, senior phase, school pupils – all across Scotland.
  • Secondary school staff members.
  • Employers.
  • DYW Regional Group staff who will manage the School Coordinators against Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
  • SDS Careers Advisors.
  • MCR Pathway Coordinators and other specialist partners.
  • Local Authorities.
  • The DYW School Coordinators may also engage with parents/guardians by offering them opportunities to join sessions alongside their children. This helps both parents/guardians and young people have an awareness of the pathways that young people can explore.

The implementation of DYW School Coordinators across mainstream secondary schools in Scotland will strengthen collaborative working across delivery partners and de-clutter a complicated economic landscape. The aim is to offer employer led career inspiration, work placements that reflect labour market demand so that young people can develop the skills required by employers. The coordinators will also ensure that all employer led interventions align and support the ambitions of the Young Person's Guarantee

Summary of evidence

Utilising the Young Person's Guarantee equality evidence[1], it is useful to note:


Employees aged under 25 were about two and a half times more likely to work in a sector that was most severely impacted by public health measures.

Sectors that shut down as a result of social distancing measures employed nearly a third (30%) of all employees under the age of 25 (25% of young men and 36% of young women).[2]

As a percentage of all employees by age band, young people (18 to 24) were least likely to be securely employed.[3]

Low income/debt

Younger people in Scotland were more likely to already be financially vulnerable and in unmanageable debt before the pandemic.

Initial UK surveys suggest they may already have resorted to using up savings, relying on overdrafts, borrowing from family and friends or accessing a new loan or credit card.[4]

18-24 year-olds were already far more likely to earn less than the real Living Wage (45% in 2019, vs 17% of all employees (18+)).[5]


Data indicates that disabled workers are more likely to be employed in sectors where there may be fewer opportunities to work from home and which may be affected more by the public health measures attached to Covid (including health and social care, and retail).[6]

As referenced in "The equality impacts of the current recession" Equality and Human Rights Commission research report 47 published in 2009, before the last recession, the wage gap between disabled and non-disabled people had narrowed, but following the recession, the wage gap had widened and struggled to get back to its pre-recession level. [7]

The recession also affected activity rates with a fall in these for disabled people as a result of the recession.6.

Recessions also increase the level of disabilities reported with a notable rise in work-related disability resulting from psychological problems. 6

Lone parents – financial security

The vast majority of lone parents are also women, and three-quarters of lone parent households were already financially vulnerable in 2016-18 (73%), and more likely than average to be in unmanageable debt.[8]

Close the Gap (2018) "Women's concentration in low paid work (2/3 earn below the Living Wage), and the increasing precarity of women's employment is exacerbating women's in-work poverty. Women are more likely to be on a zero hour contract and on a temporary contract."[9]

Young mothers

Young mothers are significantly more likely to experience pregnancy and maternity discrimination, with six times as many under 25 year olds than average reporting being dismissed from their jobs after they tell their employer they are pregnant. [10]

Compared to mothers aged 25 and over, those aged under 20 were less likely to have a qualification at Higher grade or above (17% vs. 80%) or to be employed (21% vs. 83%), and more likely to be in the lowest income quintile (72% vs. 12%) and to live in the most deprived areas. [11]

While mothers aged 20-24 were found to be relatively advantaged when compared with their younger counterparts, they are still at a significant disadvantage when compared with older parents (50% had a qualification at Higher grade or above, 55% were employed and 40% had a household income in the lowest quintile)."10

People living in deprived areas (and within particular communities of place and interest)

Minority ethnic groups in Scotland are more likely to live in the most deprived areas.[12]

Minority ethnic communities also experience the highest rates of poverty in Scotland.[13]

The 'African' and 'White: Gypsy/ Traveller' groups had the highest proportions of people who lived in social rented accommodation (41 and 40% respectively) — this was double the rate in the population as a whole.[14]

People from different social classes

Information is sparse in this section on inequalities in the context of COVID-19 relating to socio-economic status. However, pre-Covid-19, we can see that in 2018/19, 92.1 per cent of school leavers in the most deprived areas achieved one or more passes at SCQF Level 4 or better, compared to 98.8 per cent of school leavers in the least deprived areas. [15]

In addition, SDS annual participation measure (2020) captures that "those from less deprived areas were more likely to remain in education compared to those from more deprived areas. The proportion of 16-19 year olds reported as participating in education from the least deprived areas (decile 10) was 84.6% compared to 63.8% for those from the most deprived areas (decile 1)."[16]

Further evidence relating to equalities – in which this assessment evidence was based off and relates to - can be found at EQIA)%20undertaken%20for%20the,into%20an%20Equality%20Action%20Plan%20(see%20Annex)%20.">Young Person's Guarantee Activity Plan (Phase 1): EQIA and Equality Action Plan and DYW School Coordinators EQIA.

Summary of assessment findings

It is clear that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact across the country, with young people being particularly impacted by the pandemic in regards to employment security and opportunities. As such, the DYW School Coordinators are targeted to mainstream secondary school pupils all across Scotland and will help young people engage with employment and provide opportunities for them to reach employment, despite these challenging times. As per the Young Person's Guarantee, this is helping young people understand and prepare for the world of work and employers understand the important contribution young people can make to their workforce.

From the evidence, we can also determine that young people before the pandemic were already likely to be financially vulnerable, less likely to be on the real living wage, and have debt. The DYW School Coordinators will work with partners – such as SDS CIAG staff - to help young people prepare for the world of work and raise awareness of the opportunities available to them. In particular, the Young Person's Guarantee is also clear that employers should move towards the living wage[17]

The DYW School Coordinators will be able to engage with employers and work with SDS CIAG staff to recognise the opportunities that are available to both males and females, and the ways in which to support women into sectors. The newly created DYW KPI 4 focuses on supporting those who benefit from it most, as part of this the Scottish Government have suggested that DYW Regional Groups and DYW School Coordinators consider:

  • support for young people at risk of a non-positive destination;
  • addressing gender imbalance in certain work sectors - particularly STEM and growth sectors;
  • improving employment outcomes for disabled young people;
  • addressing challenges for young people from minority ethnic backgrounds; and
  • supporting the aspirations of young people from lowest 20% of SIMD areas.

The Scottish Government team are also working with policy leads in Race Employment, Disability Employment and Gender Employment policy to develop a suite of training to support DYW School Coordinators.

As a result of this assessment, alongside the other impact assessments on the implementation of DYW School Coordinators, we have committed approx. £400k to support Enable to provide a more suitable service for disabled young people and provide them with focused and tailored career advice and work experience opportunities to help them to develop and realise their potential.

We recognised the potential negative impact that could be caused by the implementation of DYW School Coordinators on young people with disabilities, as they will not be available to all ASN schools whose majority destination is not directly into the labour market.

However, from feedback from equality groups we knew that disabled young people do want access to the right support and at the right time. As such, we mitigated potentially negative impacts and instead ensured a positive impact for disabled young people by:

Engaging with Enable to provide a more suitable service for these young people. Enable are providing a programme that will tailor support to young disabled people and provides them with focused and tailored career advice and work experience opportunities to help them to develop and realise their potential. The Stepping Up Project will contribute to the Young Person's Guarantee by connecting disabled young people to fair work, education and productive activities designed to ensure a successful transition into adult life and work. Stepping Up comprises of a 3-stage model and will engage 1152 young people on the programme aged

The Scottish Government's disability employment team and Disability Action Plan will also look to tackle challenges referenced in the evidence above.

Alongside engagement with Enable to support disabled young people and the introduction of KPI 4 which focuses on supporting those who would benefit most from support, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS) will also be working with DYW Groups to develop work to compliment this approach, and to support young Black people and young people of colour to access available opportunities.

We will work with IYS to develop an evidence base for a pilot to recruit additional Coordinators who can relate to young people from minority ethnic and racial backgrounds people.

Sign off

Name: Catriona Laing

Job title: Deputy Director, Young Person's Guarantee Division



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