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The most recent data on the participation in education, training or employment of Scotland’s young people has been published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).  

The Annual Participation Measure is used to inform policy, planning and service delivery, and to assess progress of 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, local authorities, colleges, the Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions (excluding Universal Credit data) and the Scottish Funding Council which is shared through the 16+ Data Hub.  

SDS is continuing to work with Department of Work and Pensions to seek and secure access to Universal Credit data. 

The 2020 Measure is based on a cohort of 205,981 young people and shows a participation rate of 92.1%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points (pp) from 2019.  

The proportion of 16 to 19-year-olds participating in education, training or employment between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 has increased by 0.5 percentage points (pp) on the previous year. 

The participation rate for 18-year-olds has increased by 1.3pp to 89.1%, the rate for 17 and 19-year-olds has increased slightly and the rate for 16-year-olds has remained the same at 99%. 

Participation rates rose in 20 of Scotland’s local authorities and the gap between highest and lowest local authority participation rates has narrowed to 7.5pp, compared to 8.8pp in the previous two years.  

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland’s Director of Operations of Career Information, Advice and Guidance, said: 

“At this critical time, the statistics captured mean we can continue to work in an informed way with our partners to support young people with their future plans at this key stage in their career.”

The full Annual Participation Measure 2020 can be read here.

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