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Young people across Scotland have had their say on how to improve career services in Scotland. 

A report commissioned as part of the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee outlines how career services need to evolve to keep up with changes in the world of work. 

Report authors Skills Development Scotland worked with over eighty young people across the country, listening to their experiences of current services and how they could be improved. 

A wide range of employers, parents and carers, teachers, careers advisers and other organisations also contributed. 

Recommendations include: 

  • a greater emphasis on career education within the curriculum at school, college and university 
  • more opportunities to experience fair work, exploring jobs in different ways 
  • more consistent entitlement to support across the country 
  • greater focus on developing skills for the world of work 
  • enhancing digital services to ensure they empower and engage young people 
"This has been the most comprehensive review of Scotlandʼs career services in a generation. Informed by in-depth evidence and developed with young people who have recent experience of making career choices, our recommendations are designed to provide the next generation with the support, guidance and skills they need to thrive in the future."

Grahame Smith, Chair of the Career Review Programme Board

Former general secretary of the STUC, Grahame Smith, led the Career Review Programme Board, along with a range of representatives from across education and the third sector.  

He said: “This has been the most comprehensive review of Scotlandʼs career services in a generation. 

“Informed by in-depth evidence and developed with young people who have recent experience of making career choices, our recommendations are designed to provide the next generation with the support, guidance and skills they need to thrive in the future. 

“Our proposals can make a significant contribution to achieving the vision and outcomes of Scotland’s COVID Recovery Strategy, the OECD recommendations for the future of Curriculum for Excellence and the emerging National Strategy for Economic Transformation. 

“We look forward to continuing our work with Scottish Government and a wide range of partners and stakeholders to quickly implement these recommendations for the benefit of all young people in Scotland.” 

"We will use the findings of this review to push even further to make career services even more consistent, accessible and impactful."

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Youth Employment and Training

Responding to the review recommendations, Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn said: 

"We welcome this report and accept all its recommendations. As we look to next steps, we start from strong foundations and the evidence tells us that young people really value the career support they receive.  

“However, as we emerge from the pandemic it is more important than ever all learners continue to receive the support they need to inform their future careers.   

“We will use the findings of this review to push even further to make career services even more consistent, accessible and impactful.” 

David Scott, a 22-year-old Graduate Apprentice from Glasgow, was one of the young people involved in the review.   

He said: “Through this review, young people like me have had the opportunity to say what we think works well and where there are opportunities to improve.  

“Weʼve shared ideas that we hope will give young people a broader range of experiences and open up possibilities that are inclusive and open to everyone. 

“I hope people listen to these recommendations and keep listening to young people’s voices as services are developed and delivered” 

The Scottish Government has agreed that the Career Review Programme Board will continue in its role to take forward the implementation of the recommendations.  

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