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Skills Development Scotland (SDS) careers services scored grades of very good or good across all categories in an Education Scotland review published today.

It also cited an area of excellent practice where SDS helps teachers in Orkney’s secondary schools to integrate career management skills within the school curriculum.

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 September 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 in to positive destinations is almost 94% for 2016 and 2017.

The review highlighted how quickly SDS’s Orkney team and partners responded to identify young people who were not in a positive destination and work together to plan and deliver support.

It also made special mention of how much customers value their engagement with careers staff and how they have benefitted from a range of services. Customers using the Kirkwall centre expressed 100% satisfaction in the services they received and their involvement with careers information, advice and guidance staff.

Careers staff are identified by Orkney’s teaching staff as “going the extra mile” for pupils and are highly skilled in using a coaching approach – especially with those young people facing barriers – to make the move to work or learning.

SDS Area Manager for Orkney Dave McCallum said: “This was a very positive report from Education Scotland. I am extremely proud of the team and the strong approach to partnership working in Orkney which is particularly vital in rural communities.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to build on our successes and the areas highlighted for development.”

Dave also praised the local team’s commitment and support for customers of all ages.

Kirkwall-based SDS Team Leader Marie Robertson said: “It is great to see the hard work and dedication of the Orkney staff recognised in the review. The positive outcomes reflect their very valuable personal contributions and the work of SDS as an organisation.”

“Our careers staff work hard every day to help people in Orkney move forward in their careers, both in school and in our newly refurbished centre in Albert Street.  I’m really happy to see this dedication recognised by Education Scotland.”

 

“This was a very positive report from Education Scotland. I am extremely proud of the team and the strong approach to partnership working in Orkney which is particularly vital in rural communities.”

Between April and September this year, SDS delivered more than 1,200 career information, advice and guidance engagements for 617 people through a mix of group and one-to-one sessions.

During the same period, 173 registered on SDS’s award-winning web service My World of Work.

The 2017 annual Participation Measure showed that of the 874 16-19 year olds in Orkney, 93.8% were in education, employment or training and personal development.

SDS delivers face-to-face career information, advice and guidance at schools and from its centre at 2 Albert Street.

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 www.facebook.com/SDSOrkney  and find out more about SDS services in Orkney at www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/in-your-area/orkney-islands/

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