Career information, advice and guidance services in Dundee have been praised by education watchdogs.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) careers services scored grades of very good or good across all categories in an Education Scotland review published on Friday (21 April), with their capacity for improvement found to be excellent.
National skills body SDS offers free, impartial career information, advice and guidance for people of all ages in secondary schools, careers centres and community venues across Scotland.
Assessors spent a week in February asking staff, customers and partner agencies about their experiences of SDS careers services.
Staff were praised for delivering careers services from a range of accessible locations, allowing ease of access for vulnerable customers. The support careers staff offer those with additional support needs to move on from school is also picked out for praise, as is the team’s detailed knowledge of different cultures within Dundee, enabling them to support customers with a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.
"The team here work hard day in and day out to support the people of Dundee and I’m pleased to see the quality and importance of that work recognised in this review. I want to thank all the staff for their continued hard work and dedication. The positive outcomes in this report are as much about their personal contributions as about the work of SDS as an organisation."
Evonne Boyd, SDS Area Manager for Dundee
Head teachers report SDS is having a positive impact on pupils, figures show the number of young people in the area going in to work, training, further or higher education when they leave school has improved to above the national average in the last three years. The promotion and embedding of award-winning career information and advice web service My World of Work in schools is also highlighted.
Partnership working is also a strong theme, the SDS careers team were found to be valued and proactive members of a wide range of partnership groups in the area, meeting regularly with Directors of Education and Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinators.
The report also found SDS staff were able to take collective ownership of current and emerging issues in Dundee’s labour market and respond effectively to community needs, working closely and flexibly with partners.
This partnership approach includes delivering a wide range of services to disengaged young people, working closely to support young people to re-engage and move on to work, training, further or higher education.
"The review reflects the effective support SDS is offering to local communities across Dundee, and the unique link our careers staff can offer to national skills priorities. Dundee and Tayside has much to offer, and I know the hard work of our careers staff is helping to open the eyes of young people to the opportunities on their doorstep.”
Rose-Marie Stewart, SDS Team Leader for Dundee
"We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to build on our successes and the areas highlighted for development. Whatever age you are and whatever stage your career is at, SDS advisers are here to support you. Drop in and see us when it suits you for free, impartial careers advice.”
Gillian Fitzpatrick, SDS Team Leader for Dundee
SDS delivers face-to-face career information, advice and guidance at secondary schools and from its SDS careers centre in the Royal Exchange Building, Panmure Street, Dundee, DD1 1DU.
Customers can get information and advice covering areas including jobs, the local labour market, training courses and apprenticeships.
Career information and advice is available online via SDS’s award-winning career information and advice web service My World of Work.
Get in touch with the Dundee SDS careers team and get updates at their Facebook page
Find out more about SDS services in Dundee at the In Your Area pages.