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Career Review: What it means for Skills Development Scotland

For the last five years, it has been my privilege to lead the delivery of Skills Development Scotland’s career services.

During that period, I’ve been frequently amazed by the determination, compassion and diligence of our career practitioner community.

Often working in challenging conditions, doing a job which doesn’t always get public the recognition it deserves, I’ve witnessed time and again the phenomenal work of SDS colleagues providing powerful one-to-one support to those who need it most.

This recognition comes through loud and clear in the comprehensive evidence gathered for this review. Listening to the voices of hundreds of young people, employers, parents and carers and other career influencers, we heard many examples of SDS colleagues delivering rich and integrated experiences for young people.

So there’s no doubt that we’re building on strong foundations.

James Russell 4

But we know our services aren’t perfect. And we know that change in the external environment means our services need to keep evolving.

We’ve been clear from the outset that the Career Review is much broader than SDS – it’s about how the system comes together to deliver experiences for young people.

We also recognise that the range of national career services provided by SDS form the backbone of the system.

This document therefore summarises the findings of the review and its recommendations as they relate to the national skills agency. As we start to develop and design the implementation plans to take forward the recommendations of the review, I am absolutely committed to working with our practitioner community and other SDS colleagues to help us design and develop our response to this review.

You are the key to providing the support and experiences our young people need to develop the skills and competencies to thrive in whatever future they choose.

James Russell
Director of CIAG Operations, Skills Development Scotland 


Download the summary for a detailed insight into what the Career Review means for Skills Development Scotland.

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Get involved

Those working in the education sector who are interested in supporting the next phase of development can express interest via email.

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