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Recommendation 3: Creating person centred career services

Individuals should be involved in identifying what they need from career services based on their own circumstances and context, which leads to a flexible and personalised service offer. 

I know that career services understand me, that they are there when I need them, and will help me get to where I want to be.

- The outcome of this change for a young person using career services

Why has this been recommended? What did the evidence say? 

  • Career ecosystems are most effective where they connect meaningfully to the experience and lives of individuals, recognise diversity, and relate services to individual needs 
  • Not all young people have equal access to career services 
  • The current offer in schools focuses most on young people at risk of not entering a positive destination, creating a perceived stigma around career services amongst those not at risk  
  • Current services involve users in identifying their career support needs but often after the ‘system’ has indicated that need through data or professional dialogue between practitioners 
  • There is evidence of young people being referred to services that don’t meet their needs or being mismatched to support using eligibility criteria or programme rules 
  • Young people want to have agency and control over their decisions – they need to be able to articulate their wants and needs. 

Find more information on the evidence gathered through the Career Review

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The change 

  • Shift from a needs-based approach (which addresses social problems and is targeted at those in most need of support) to an asset-based approach (which focuses on an individual’s strengths and allows services to become more universal and lifelong) 
  • Young people’s voices are fundamental to all future career service development and delivery 
  • Services are more relevant, impactful and universally accessed 
  • Services and practitioners have space to ‘explore’ changing need on an ongoing basis through professional practice  
  • Enhanced data sharing at appropriate and relevant stages of transitions (in line with relevant legislation and regulations.

How will it address inequalities?

Encouraging the exploration of each person’s life, interests, morals, skills and values; building a narrative of their own story, deepening self-worth and belief in their contribution to the world. 

Download the Career Review Equality Impact Assessment 

What happens next? 

  • The Career Review Programme Board will develop an offer for service delivery, beginning in primary school prior to the transition to secondary school 
  • The Career Review Implementation Plan and Target Operating Model will include the development of an approach to enhance data sharing 
  • The service offer will expand the existing services available to young people and there may be a need for additional resource to support this expanded offer. 

Realising the full impact of this recommendation will be dependent on its alignment with the outcome of the Scottish Government considerations of the OECD recommendations on Curriculum for Excellence and any proposed reform of curriculum and assessment in the senior phase. 

Career Review

Learn more about the Career Review.

Career Review


Explore the other recommendations.