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Career information, advice and guidance services in Dumfries and Galloway have been given top marks by education watchdogs. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) careers services scored grades of excellent and very good across all categories in an Education Scotland review published this week.

It cited an area of excellent practice in management of service delivery where SDS and other key partners developed the ‘Planning for Your Future’ event. This was aimed at helping young people make informed decisions about their future education and career choices and raise aspirations of those most at risk of not achieving a positive post-school destination.

SDS Area Manager for Dumfries and Galloway Judith Thomas said: “These results show the hard work and dedication of the team in Dumfries and Galloway and how this is demonstrated on a day to day basis.”

“It is great to see the efforts of all our colleagues, lead by team leaders Juliet Campbell and Sylvia McDowell in our Dumfries and Stranraer centres, recognised in the review.”

Judith said: “I must emphasis it is also about the partnership working which is extremely important and these collaborations help us to deliver our services across the area, particularly our links with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education service and employability and skills team.”

Education Scotland’s criteria for an excellent grade is for practice that is ‘outstanding and sector leading’ while the criteria for very good is practice defined as a ‘major strength’.

“These results show the hard work and dedication of the team in Dumfries and Galloway and how this is demonstrated on a day to day basis. I must emphasis it is also about the partnership working which is extremely important and these collaborations help us to deliver our services across the area, particularly our links with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education service and employability and skills team.”

SDS Area Manager for Dumfries and Galloway Judith Thomas

In four other areas, Education Scotland scored SDS services as very good. These included customer progression and achievement of relevant high quality outcomes, meeting the needs of stakeholders, delivery of key services and strategic leadership.

National skills body SDS offers free, impartial career information, advice and guidance for people of all ages in secondary schools, centres and community venues across Scotland.

Assessors spent a week in October asking staff, customers and partner agencies about their experiences of SDS careers services.

Careers staff were praised for their dedicated work with young people to increase the numbers going in to work, training, further or higher education. Figures show the numbers of young people moving into to positive destinations is 94.6%, which is higher than the national average. This figure has improved steadily over the past three years.

The review highlighted how the Dumfries and Galloway team work “effectively and creatively with a broad range of partners to provide a highly responsive service to young people and adult customers.”

It also mentioned how the delivery of services takes full account of local economic and community needs in line with national priorities through close working with key partners.

Careers staff were described as “highly committed” to meeting the needs of all customers and described their contribution as “highly valued by all partners”. The team is described in the review as “highly motivated and committed”.

Education Scotland review

SDS delivers face-to-face career information, advice and guidance at schools and from its centres in the Loreburn Centre, Dumfries and 7 South Strand Street, Stranraer.

Customers can get information and advice covering areas including jobs, the local labour market, training courses and Modern Apprenticeships.

Get in touch and get updates at https://en-gb.facebook.com/SDSDumfriesandGalloway/

and find out more about SDS services in Dumfries and Galloway at https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/in-your-area/dumfries-and-galloway.

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