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30 August 2022

Annual Participation Measure 2022 statistics published

CIAG Scotland's career services

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

Based on a cohort of 209,984 individuals, the participation rate in 2022 was 92.4%, a slight increase compared to 92.2% in 2021.

The rise in participation was mainly driven by an increase in young adults in employment which increased from 15.5% in 2021 to 17.5% in 2022.

This increase offset the decrease in the percentage of young adults in further education which fell to 9.7%.

Participation rates rose in 20 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and the gap between the highest and lowest local authority participation rates was 7.7 pp compared to 7.8 pp last year.

The proportion of 16-19-year-olds with a non-participation status increased from 3.2% in 2021 to 4.0% in 2022.

In addition, the proportion with an unconfirmed status was 3.6%, down 1.0 pp compared to 2021 (4.6%). The unconfirmed rate is at its lowest level across all age groups.


In interpreting the results, it’s important to recognise the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and associated lockdown measures would have impacted on young adults’ participation in 2021. However, as the economy re-opened and business demand for workers increased, the increase in opportunities may have also influenced the choices made by young adults across the period covered by the 2022 statistics.

In addition, SDS worked very closely with DWP to establish regular data sharing about Universal Credit claimants, both in and out of work. The inclusion of this data has improved the quality of the data for 2022 and contributed to the rise in non-participation and decrease in unconfirmed.

Sharon McIntyre, Skills Development Scotland’s Head of Career Information, Advice and Guidance Operations, said: “The Annual Participation Measure is used to inform policy, planning and service delivery across Scotland, and helps SDS and partners understand the impact and outcomes of our work.

“These statistics 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 APM is produced using data collected by SDS and a range of partners including, local authorities, colleges, the Student Awards Agency Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Funding Council which is shared through the 16+ Data Hub.

The APM publication is accompanied by an interactive report, which is available on the SDS website and will allow users to interact with the statistics. It provides breakdowns of the data at a national and local authority level and by customer characteristics.