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Career Review: What it means for local services and communities

This review of Scotland’s career services offers a unique opportunity to reform and reframe the careers eco-system to ensure it supports young people today and the economy of tomorrow.

As a member of the independent programme board, I am glad to have been involved in this process as I believe that historically the career system has been too narrowly defined.

Greater appreciation of community and third sector services could address many challenges faced by young people, especially those for whom the education and social system has failed.

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, community services delivered by local authorities and the voluntary sector have stepped up to deliver in so many ways for so many people.

Tim Frew

This has strengthened the bonds of trust and relationship that are at the heart of all good youth and community work.

Youth workers play a key role in delivering opportunities for skills development, career support and career related learning, in school and community settings.

Evidence shows that a non-formal, youth work approach can be particularly effective in engaging and supporting those furthest from the labour market, adapting to their lived experience.

This review has recognised that many young people, including those facing disadvantage or who have protected characteristics, don’t see themselves represented in formal career services. It is vital that we respond and ensure that every young person has the right to career services designed to meet their individual needs.

With the right resource, reshaping, and realignment that is captured in the recommendations of this review, youth work and other community-based services have a key role to play in delivering this entitlement.

We can only do this through genuine collaboration, locally and nationally. I would encourage practitioners to read the review and consider what the recommendations mean for local services and communities – and to understand the other roles within the system.

As we move to further co-design and implement the recommendations in this report, I believe youth work and related community-based services can play a vital role in considering:

  • enabling greater access to career services within communities, both geographic and thematic, that young people identify with and trust
  • with the right support, co-delivering, connecting and facilitating access to broader career services
  • supporting young people not following traditional academic pathways.

For our part, YouthLink Scotland will support the youth work sector to engage with the review and its implementation. We will work collectively and collaboratively to ensure that youth work supports delivery of the aims for a rights-based, coherent system of career services in Scotland.

Tim Frew
Chief Executive, YouthLink and Career Review Programme Board member


Download the summary for a detailed insight into what the Career Review means for local services and communities.

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Get involved

Local and third sector organisations who are interested in supporting the next phase of development can express interest via email.

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