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

Data is provided by a range of partners, including from SDS, schools, colleges, the Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions, which is shared through the 16+ Data Hub.

The 2019 publication shows an overall participation rate of 91.6%, a slight decrease of 0.2 percentage points (pp) from 2018.

Highest participation

The highest participation rate was amongst 16-year-olds (99.0%), and lowest among 19-year-olds (83.9%).

Females are slightly more likely to participate (92.2%) than males (90.9%).

This year saw an increase in participation in 15 local authorities, with Shetland (97.0%), East Renfrewshire (96.9%) and East Dunbartonshire (96.5%) reporting the highest rates of participation.

The slight decrease in overall participation is driven primarily by an increase in individuals with an unconfirmed status, which at 5.3% is 0.6pp higher than last year.

Supporting young people

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland’s Director of Operations of Career Information, Advice and Guidance, said: “The Annual Participation Measure is an important piece of work which helps to ensure that we at SDS and our partners are doing all we can to support Scotland’s young people.

“The statistics mean that we can report more accurately on the activities of 16 to 19-year-olds across Scotland and support them accordingly.

“By looking at this age group as opposed to solely school leavers, we’re better able to support young people with their plans for the future, in line with Opportunities for All.

“Whilst the overall participation rate remains high, we at SDS are committed to continue to working with partners to ensure that we are doing all we can to support all of Scotland’s young people at this critical stage.”

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.

The report can be viewed in full here.


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