Developing Scotland's Young Workforce

Developing Scotland's Young Workforce

In January 2013, the Scottish Government set up The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. This commission was chaired by Sir Ian Wood and was tasked with providing recommendations designed to ensure that Scotland is producing better qualified, work ready and motivated young people with skills relevant to modern employment opportunities.

The report also focused on pupils who didn’t follow an academic pathway and who leave school without Highers and the important role and value vocational education plays in the Scottish education system.

The final report was published in June 2014.

SQA Chief Executive comments

Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive said, "SQA is proud to be at the heart of the education and skills system in Scotland and is committed to helping young people realise their potential and to achieve their ambitions. SQA qualifications, highly regarded across the world for their consistent standards, are a valuable asset to those who achieve them. They prepare people for life in general as well as for progression into further study, training or employment. Find out more

Developing the Young Workforce – Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy

Developing the Young Workforce - Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy was published in December 2014 and includes the detailed plans, agreed with local government, to implement the Commission’s recommendations. The strategy sets out the Scottish Government's response to Education Working for All! with an outline of activity over the next seven years to create a world class vocational education system.

Developing the Young Workforce is a seven year national plan which looks to improve the options on offer for young people, and reduce youth unemployment to the levels of the best performing countries in Europe. Throughout those efforts, the DYW Programme Board and National Advisory Group will be key to providing crucial advice on the implementation of the plans. Membership is drawn from central and local government, the college sector and delivery partners as well as industry and representative bodies.

As Janet Brown commented: “SQA looks forward to working with schools, colleges, local authorities, training providers, employers and the other national bodies, to continue to implement the Commission’s recommendations. Working together, it can be done."

To keep up to date with the latest information on Developing the Young Workforce, please email to be added to the mailing list, or read Scottish Government’s official blog on Developing the Young Workforce, implementing the recommendations of the report from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.

Developing the Young Workforce: Guidance for School/Employer Partnerships, the Work Placements Standard and Career Education Standard (3-18)

DYW is aligned to Curriculum for Excellence which provides a more flexible approach to learning, widening the range of pathways and options available to all young people in schools. As part of the recommendations of the DYW programme, the Scottish Government and Education Scotland have published guidance on School/Employer partnerships, the Work Placements Standard and a new Career Education Standard (3-18).

The guidance on school/employers partnerships is published in 3 parts:

This provides information on the value of partnerships to inspire young people to develop skills for employment, by offering a range of programmes and opportunities.

The new Career Education Standard aims to better support all children and young people in making informed decisions, not only in terms of subject choice but for future pathways and learning opportunities.

The Work Placements Standard sets out expectations for the young person, employer, school, local authority and parent/carer – before, during and after work placements.

These materials will be tested in practice over the next 18 months, followed by a review of progress on implementation in March 2017 to measure their impact. They can be viewed on the Education Scotland website.

The Education Scotland GLOW blog provides information on the suite of documents.