Certificate of Work Readiness launched

Scottish businesses are backing a new employer assessed work-based qualification to help young people prove they are ready for employment.

The Certificate of Work Readiness has been developed in partnership with the business community and aims to give unemployed young people the chance to demonstrate the value they bring to the workplace.

Piloted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in a number of areas, the certificate will consist of college-based learning time, as well as 190 hours of real life work experience, and is unique in that it will only be awarded following employer assessment.

The certificate, approved by SQA, has the backing of industries, employer bodies such as the Federation of Small Businesses and companies across Scotland including Diageo and Scottish Power.

Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, said: “The latest employment figures paint an improving picture for Scotland’s young people with more in work and less claiming unemployment. However, we are all too aware, that in times of economic difficulty, it is younger people, unable to get a job because they lack experience and can’t build up the skills they need, who suffer the most.

“The Certificate of Work Readiness seeks to change all that. It includes a unique employer-assessed work experience placement, providing a meaningful qualification and a credible standard that employers can recognise and trust. Even if that employer doesn’t have a permanent job available, the young person can leave with concrete evidence of their employability which they can use when applying for jobs. I’m confident that the certificate will become an integral part of our unique commitment of an offer of a place in education and training for 16 to 19 years olds through Opportunities for All and record annual targets for Modern Apprenticeships.”

Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, said: “This is a significant milestone in the journey towards creating a broad range of qualifications which prepare young people in an effective way for the modern world of work. The work experience available through the course is assessed by employers and gives young people the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their performance, enabling them to take what they’ve learned forward into future job applications.”

Maggie Morrison, SDS board member and AGM HP Scotland, Enterprise Services, added: “The Certificate will make it so much easier for companies to offer structured work experience and, ultimately, permanent jobs. It has been an age old complaint of the business community that those starting out on the first rung of the career ladder, no matter their academic ability, often do not have the practical know-how to succeed from day one. This Certificate is going to go further than anything before it in eliminating that doubt.” 

More information and details on how to offer this qualification are available on the Certificate for Work Readiness page.


Certificate sets Ricky on the right path



CWR - Ricky


The Certificate for Work Readiness helped 18 year old Ricky McCunnie overcome his lack of confidence and secure a new job.

Lynn Walker, operations manager for cleaning and support services company ISS, said: “Ricky had no confidence at all when he joined us but thanks to the work experience we have given him and the CWR placement, he has completely changed. He did so well, we were keen to keep him on – so we created a role for him.”

Ricky is now based in Motherwell College, carrying out a range of duties including repographic tasks, mail and storeroom duties and liaising with lecturers and students on a daily basis.”

Lynn added: “We feel very strongly about encouraging young people into our industry. ISS recently launched its own apprentice training programme in England and we hope that when it extends to Scotland, Ricky can take part. The work environment can be intimidating for young people, so it’s great that the CWR exists to support them. It’s also a huge benefit for employers looking to take on reliable, enthusiastic new recruits.”

Ricky said: “It can be difficult when you’ve been out of work and nothing seems to be coming your way. The CWR really opened my eyes to what work is like and it’s been a great opportunity working with ISS. I was really pleased to be offered the job, and I’m still enjoying it.”