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Recommendation 4: Experiential career education

There should be dedicated curriculum time for experiential work-related learning in all settings.

In my learning I know there will be a range of meaningful activities that are hands-on and help me understand and experience fair work.

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

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

  • Investment in education supersedes investment in career services 
  • There are strong examples in our current system where: 
    • curriculum, qualifications and practitioners make direct connections to the world of work 
    • work experience is a key part of learning 
    • employers are involved in the co-design and delivery of the curriculum 
    • innovative experiential delivery models allow the development of skills through application. 
  • What does exist currently is not consistent and there’s inequity in accessing these opportunities 
  • Curriculum for Excellence places an emphasis on ‘successful learners’ in the current system over the other three competencies (confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors)  
  • Upper-secondary education systems should provide students with a range of options with a view to suiting their future destination and alternatives to traditional academic pathways 
  • International best practice models include curriculum hours dedicated to experiential work-based learning.

Find more information on the evidence gathered through the Career Review

Career Review Icons 04

The change 

  • Experiential work-related learning becomes part of the ‘fabric’ of curriculum design and delivery in primary, secondary, college and university  
  • Young people understand the practical value of what they are learning and how it can be applied in the world of work  
  • This may take the form of projects or challenges, developed with employers, trade unions, educators and career practitioners, or helping to deliver elements of the curriculum in the practical setting of a workplace.  

How it addresses inequalities 

Each individual is entitled to access fair, just and purposeful work-related learning embedded within their curriculum that aligns with their goals and ambitions. 

All learning incorporates equality and diversity principles that challenge and overcome entrenched ideas about the world of work. 

Download the Career Review Equality Impact Assessment 

What happens next? 

The Career Review Implementation Plan and Target Operating Model will: 

  • set out how the career ecosystem will work with partners to enhance experiential career education in a range of settings and how these experiences will be aligned to skills needs for the future 
  • specify a means of articulating skills to ensure they can be recognised as part of attainment in a wide range of settings  
  • set out the approach to ensuring the offer of a formal work-based qualification is available for all young people within the senior phase 
  • set out how employer involvement in the design and delivery of curriculum should be co-ordinated across the system and increased. 

Career Review

Learn more about the Career Review.

Career Review


Explore the other recommendations.