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SDS support for refugees

SDS is committed to welcoming, supporting and offering our services to all refugees fleeing war, oppression, and persecution.  

With the Scottish Government having made a commitment to welcome over 3,000 people from Ukraine into Scotland, SDS recognises the need to ensure that those coming to Scotland are aware of the support which is available to them.


We know that your education, employment or future choices have been affected and we can help you access the information, advice and guidance you need. 


Our Careers Advisers are in all maintained schools. For those of school age, a range of support is available, including the following:

Senior phase pupils can receive targeted one to one career guidance support, and young refugees who were at their planned school leaving time will receive priority support.

Under our school partnership agreements, we will work with school staff to provide advice and support to aid the integration of young refugees into their school from P7/S1 onwards.

For the parents and carers of school pupils, one to one career information and advice is available.

Post school

Young people who have left school can benefit from specific support, including:

Intensive support for refugee school leavers through confidential one to one career guidance and employability support under our Next Steps service (for young people aged 16 to 18.5 years old).

Our Next Steps service will prioritise refugees in line with support offered to care experienced young people up to age of 26 (and beyond should the individual need this), under our commitment as a Corporate Parent.

All age career service

As Scotland’s national career service, we are an all-age service with career centres located across the country.

Promotion, referral and access to our services for refugees of all ages will be facilitated through our close working with partners at a national and local level, including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Social Security Scotland, CELCIS, the third sector, local authorities and employability partners.

Career Information, Advice and Guidance Helpline

Career information and advice for refugees, their families and sponsor families (Homes for Ukraine) can be accessed by calling our all-age helpline on 0800 917 8000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

Translated career service information and advice is available through our advisers.

Labour Market Information

We provide the most up to date and robust information on Scotland’s Labour Market to ensure our Careers Advisers can best support individuals. Our monthly Labour Market Insights reports include insight on sectors and regions, people, economy, business and the available support for individuals and businesses.

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

We are aware that in fleeing crisis some young people will be unaccompanied. Our advisers are trained in child protection and vulnerable adult protection, and we work closely with local Social Work services and other partners such as Barnardos and the NSPCC.

Translation and other support

We will arrange translation services to ensure those wishing to access our services can do so.

We have advisers trained to use the UK ENIC system to look at the accreditation/equivalence of qualifications and we also utilise SCQF resources.

Our local links with Further and Higher Education institutions and Community Learning & Development will facilitate referral to ESOL courses should this be needed.

We have a client intervention fund to support the purchase of items needed to support job search and can pay travel aid to assist with the cost of looking for work.