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Parents and carers are getting support to have career conversations with their kids.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) have pooled their expertise on two new career conversation ‘nutshell’ guides.

Published online, the nutshells will also be sent out via schools to parents and carers across Scotland in the coming weeks.

“We know that parents and carers are the number one influence on young people when they’re making decisions about their future. These guides are another way for SDS, in partnership with NPFS, to support parents, carers and of course young people, when it comes to those decision points.”

James Russell, SDS Head of Career Management Skills Development and Delivery

The nutshells give parents and carers advice about how to approach conversations around careers in general, and specifically, a career in digital technology, which is a huge growth sector for Scotland.

‘Career Conversations in a Nutshell’ gives advice about how to have constructive career conversations with young people and where to go for more information.

It includes advice from SDS careers advisers on how to approach some of the more challenging chats such as the ‘I have no idea what I want to do’ or the ‘I’m only interested in....’ conversations.


In the guide, young people also share their ideas on how parents and carers can best support them.

Digital Skills in a Nutshell’ explains why young people should consider a career in digital technology in Scotland.

It looks at what skills are needed and the wealth of opportunity the industry in Scotland offers.

The guide recognises the digital technology industry might be relatively unknown for many parents, and tackles common myths about working in digital tech.

There’s also more on coding and next steps for young people interested in a digital tech career.

The new guides are in addition to ‘Career Education: A World of Possibilities’, a nutshell guide on the careers support young people can expect, published last year.

“We understand that for many parents and carers, having career conversations with their children can be daunting. We all know what our own experiences have been and about our own areas of work, but getting to grips with changes in the wider career landscape can be a challenge. These guides are an easy way to spark conversation and understand the kind of support young people want. They also offer ideas of where to go for more information and support.”

Joanna Murphy, Chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland

SDS recently expanded its careers services in schools.

Pupils now have group sessions with their careers adviser from P7/S1 to S3, and there’s more intensive support for those who need it from S3 onwards.

Pupils also have the chance of a one-to-one interview with a careers adviser ahead of making their early subject choices. Parents, carers and teachers will also be offered the chance to get involved in those discussions.

It’s all in addition to the exisitng programme of support which sees group sessions from S4 to S6, drop-in clinics, one-to-one coaching for those who need it most and attendance at school events, such as parents’ nights.

“SDS careers advisers have a wealth of expertise and knowledge, and are a great resource for young people, their teachers and parents. We also offer support online 24 hours a day through our award-winning web service My World of Work. Its dedicated parent and carer area is packed with advice and information.”

James Russell, SDS Head of Career Management Skills Development and Delivery

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