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The latest data on the learning, training or working status of Scotland’s 16 to 19-year-olds has been published by Skills Development Scotland.

The Annual Participation Measure is used to inform policy, planning and service delivery, and to assess progress in the delivery of Opportunities for All, the Scottish Government’s commitment to offer a place in learning or training to every 16 to 19-year-old in Scotland not in employment, education or training.

The statistics are produced using data collected by SDS and a range of partners which is shared through the 16+ Data Hub.

The 2018 publication shows an increase in participation rates amongst young Scots aged 16 to 19. The proportion of young people in education, training or employment has increased to 91.8%, an increase of 0.7 percentage points on the 2017 figure, and 1.4 pp on the 2016 figure.

The highest participation rate was amongst 16-year-olds (98.8%), with the participation rate increasing most amongst 19-year-olds, up by 1.9 pp on 2017.

Closing the gap

The statistics also showed that the gap between those who lived in the 20% more deprived areas and the 20% least deprived areas has continued to narrow – down to 10.8 pp compared to 11.5 pp in 2017.

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland’s Director of Operations for Career Information, Advice and Guidance, said: “The Annual Participation Measure plays an important part in ensuring that we are doing all we can to support Scotland’s young people.

“The combination of data from SDS, schools, colleges, the Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions means that we can report on the education, training or employment status of 16 to 19-year-olds across Scotland.

“Expanding the data to look at this age group as opposed to only school leavers helps young people access the support they need to get into learning, training or employment, creating a positive start to their working lives.”

Excellence and equity

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “These record figures show that our efforts to encourage and support young people to stay in learning, training and work are working for the vast majority across Scotland.

“As well as a continued reduction in the participation gap for those living in the most deprived areas, reflecting the impact our commitment to delivering excellence and equity for all is having a positive impact on participation rates, I am particularly pleased to see a record increase in the number of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds in education.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to delivering positive outcomes for all our young people. As well as achieving our target to reduce unemployment by 40% four years ahead of schedule, we exceeded the annual target of 27,000 Modern Apprenticeships opportunities in 2017/18. We are now working towards delivering 28,000 opportunities in 2018/2019 in line with our commitment to increase MA starts to 30,000 by 2020.”

Since August 2017, the Annual Participation Measure has been included in the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework (NPF), replacing the school leaver destination follow-up.

Find out more

You can read the full report here.

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