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Careers services in East Dunbartonshire have been given top marks in a report from education watchdogs.

A report looking into the support offered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) was published by Education Scotland on Friday 10 January.

Skills Development Scotland delivers Scotland’s careers service, with careers advisers in every state secondary school in Scotland, as well as a network of careers centres.

The report shows SDS’s East Dunbartonshire team, in collaboration with key partners, has been instrumental in closing the participation gap between the 20% most and least deprived areas in the authority. Between 2016 and 2019, the gap in terms of those participating in education, training or work has decreased from 9.3% to 5.4%. The national measure is 10.5%. This is thanks to the work of the East Dunbartonshire team and their partners to support key customer priority groups which was highlighted in the recent review as an example of excellence.

In all East Dunbartonshire secondary schools, the number of young people entering a positive destination on leaving school is significantly above the national average and has been for the last three years. The Participation Measure, which provides a picture of the learning, training or work status of 16 to 19-year-olds, has been both above the national average and a positive increasing trend for the last three years.

The team is also praised for its strong relationships with East Dunbartonshire Council, head teachers and school staff which has led to a significant increase in the number of young people registering on and using Scotland's online careers information and advice service, My World of Work.

The importance of the My World of Work Ambassador programme was also highlighted. The programme sees pupils volunteer to be champions of the web service, in return for the opportunity to gain valuable leadership and project management experience and build employability and career management skills.

In East Dunbartonshire, the My World of Work Ambassadors play a key role in providing advice to teachers on the use of the site, supporting sessions at P7/S1 transition parents’ evenings and increasing registrations.

Martin Ross, a My World of Work Ambassador in Bearsden Academy commented: “Being a My World of Work Ambassador has helped me to develop into a more outgoing and confident individual thanks to the useful skills I am gaining from being part of the programme.”

"With two areas of excellent practice identified, this is a fantastic review which demonstrates the commitment of colleagues across East Dunbartonshire."

Sharon Kelly, SDS Head of Operations West

SDS provides free, impartial career information, advice and guidance for people of all ages across East Dunbartonshire, with advisers based in the Kirkintilloch careers centre within New College Lanarkshire and delivering services in all eight secondary schools, four additional support needs schools/units and a number of outreach partner premises.

Sharon Kelly, SDS Head of Operations West, said: “With two areas of excellent practice identified, this is a fantastic review which demonstrates the commitment of colleagues across East Dunbartonshire, and the hard work that goes in to delivering SDS career information, advice and guidance services in the area.

"The impact the team has made to the key customer priority groups in terms of closing the gap deserves to be recognised and I’m delighted that the effort they have put into improving My World of Work engagement has also been highlighted.

“This was a positive report and I am extremely proud of the East Dunbartonshire team for the difference they’re making to the lives of people in the area.”

Inspectors from Education Scotland spent a week observing the work of careers staff based in the careers centre in NCL and local schools, as well as speaking with staff, customers and partner agencies about their experiences of SDS’s careers services.
SDS’ free, impartial career information, advice and guidance is for people of all ages at any stage in their career, anywhere in Scotland.

Customers can get information and advice covering areas including career choices, local job opportunities, training courses and apprenticeships, CVs and interviews.

You can read the review of East Dunbartonshire’s careers service on the Education Scotland website. 

Find out more about Scotland’s careers service at sds.co.uk/careers

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