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Working together to build the career services of the future

It’s now six months since the Career Review Programme Board published its recommendations for the development of Scotland’s career services. 

Co-designed with young people, parents, teachers, career practitioners and other stakeholders, the review recommendations represent an ambitious redesign of the career system in Scotland. 

This co-design process has continued since Careers By Design was published, as we lay the groundwork for implementation. 

Our priorities in recent months have included: 

  • Developing our recommendations with adult customers in line with Scotland’s all-age career strategy 
  • Developing the new career services operating model which outlines a vision and delivery principles for Scotland’s future career services 
  • Developing career services coalition which will ensure services are systemic and coordinated 
  • Planning our approach to change based on empowering communities to design the career services of the future 
James Russell 4

New operating model for Career Services now in place 

“Develop and co-design a future state Target Operating Model and service blueprint that set out lifelong entitlement to career services.” 

Building on insight from those with lived experiences of services, we have worked with programme board members and leaders across the ecosystem to co-design an overarching Target Operating Model, which provides a high-level overview of how services can deliver on the recommendations. 

Informed by the Career Review design principles, recommendations and Scotland’s Careers Strategy, it outlines a vision for Scotland’s career services, which explains what the system should be doing

“We equip all people of Scotland with skills and experiences that will allow them to make informed decisions and thrive in a rapidly changing world.”  

And how it might do it:  

“By working together as a collective to continuously improve services.”  

Importantly, it also expresses a set of outcomes that the system needs to deliver and describes a set of principles that future services can be built upon and to which they must align. 

Following significant consultation and co-design, the Career Review Programme Board have now approved the model, marking a key milestone in our plans.   

With this resource in now place, we are working towards a shared and common set of outcomes for customers that ensures career support becomes structurally unavoidable in the future.  

Building a coalition of career services

A coalition should be established that ensures the implementation of the reviewʼs recommendations and the coherence of career services across Scotland, where young people, practitioners, employers and stakeholders are represented.

Careers by Design: Recommendation ten

Whilst the operating model has been designed to take account of the changing world of work, it cannot become stagnant.  

It will continue to adapt and evolve in the years to come, and that process must be driven by those experiencing and delivering career services to secure lasting and meaningful change. 

That’s where a ‘coalition’ of career service providers will play a key role in continuously improving and defining the career services of the future.  

In recent months the Career Review Programme Board has been considering the remit, functions and constitution of this coalition.  This work has been undertaken in the context of a wide range of policy developments, including education reform and the National Strategy for Economic Transformation. 

Now in the final stages of this work, proposals for the coalition – formally entitled the Career Services Collaborative - will be submitted to the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training later this month. 

What’s next for the Career Review?  

Earlier this month, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Skills and Youth Employment Jamie Hepburn MSP announced an intention to undertake an independent review of the skills landscape in Scotland. 

Further information on this review is available here

We are pleased to note that this review will not seek to duplicate the work of the career review, and indeed part of its focus as outlined in the terms of reference identify the need to consider how the Career Services Collaborative (formerly coalition) is positioned within the wider education and skills landscape to best deliver its functions. 

And so with strong progress across these key priorities, our next step is to co-design how services will change and develop a plan for implementing those changes to shape the career services of the future. 

Taking our commitment to codesign as a guiding principle, our approach will empower practitioners, institutions and other stakeholders to define what that change looks like for them – ensuring services are designed for the people who deliver and receive them. 

We’ll do this through what we call ‘changemaking’.  

By engaging with change makers from across the career system, we’ll be able to benefit from shared expertise, new and innovative ideas, and an approach that will allow us to achieve to achieve systemic and impactful change.  

Look out for our next update, in which we’ll explain the ‘changemaker’ approach in detail.