Scotland's careers strategy: moving forward

Strategy highlighting the role that career education, information, advice and guidance (CIAG) services in Scotland can play in helping to address future skills demands and deliver inclusive growth.

Executive Summary

This Strategy highlights the important role that career education, information, advice and guidance (CIAG) services in Scotland can play in helping to address future skills demands and deliver inclusive growth.  

While Scotland has a national careers service delivered through Skills Development Scotland, the Strategy sets out how career services are also delivered by a number of other partners in a variety of settings. As a collective they are regarded as the ‘careers system’. The vision for our careers system is:

For a world-class, professionally-led, aligned and flexible system of CIAG services which delivers for every citizen, regardless of where they live in Scotland, their age or circumstance. A system through which citizens can expect a high standard of support that meets their needs when they need it most, a system that is fully interconnected to ensure citizens access the right people and services which includes employability and skills support. 

To make the most of these services and resources, the Strategy sets out the need to co-ordinate our approach and highlights the following range of key enablers: data sharing and usage; alignment in services including digital technology; and developing stronger links and referral into and across the careers system to provide a seamless learner journey.  

To meet our vision for an enhanced careers system, the Strategy highlights the following overarching aims and principles:

  • a national model for career education, information, advice and guidance services with shared principles adopted across education, training and employability services for young people and adults;
  • a focus on strengthening collaborative partnerships and working more closely with target groups to co-create more CIAG designed to meet the needs of young people and adults;
  • a sharing of knowledge and expertise in professional development for the CIAG workforce, quality assurance, and improved outcomes;
  • a pan-sectoral leadership body focused on all-age CIAG provision and continuous improvement. 

These shared high-level principles and ambitions for those delivering career services will ensure that every individual in Scotland has access to high quality and beneficial CIAG. A fully aligned lifelong careers system will help people build an understanding of their strengths and aspirations, make informed choices about learning and employment options throughout their lives and know how to find out about future opportunities so they can fulfil their potential. 

The rapid changes within the labour market, and increasingly complex nature of career paths available, require flexible approaches to developing a career with numerous routes and pathways and recognition that career development is a central part of life and not only a crisis point intervention. Helping people to overcome barriers and challenge inequality is fundamental to a successful careers system.

Building upon current policies and practices, we will work collaboratively across the careers system to deliver the Strategy’s aims and embed its principles. A cross sectoral group will develop an implementation plan for delivering future service enhancements through a continuous improvement approach to ensure they are affordable, sustainable and that they make the most out of our resources. The implementation plan, along with a timeline for delivery, will be published by the end of 2020.



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