Councillors support recent developments associated with Developing the Youth Workforce.
A recent report highlighting the council’s range of successful developments and activities associated with Developing the Youth Workforce, the national programme that aims to better prepare children and young people for the world of work, has been supported by councillors at a meeting of its Education committee this month.
Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) - a seven year programme running from 2014 to 2021 - builds on the foundations already in place as part of Curriculum for Excellence and its headline aim is to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.
In May 2015, East Lothian Council Cabinet agreed the broad principles of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, which was the Scottish Government’s response to Education Working For All, the final report published by the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce in 2014. East Lothian Works, East Lothian’s employability hub, was established prior to this in April 2013, and an East Lothian Partnership Strategic DYW Group is also now well established.
Since this time, statistics have shown that East Lothian school leavers progressing on to positive destinations have consistently improved and recently peaked to their highest ever level of 93.5%. Equally, the Participation Measure has increased to 93.1%, resulting in East Lothian being the second most improved Local Authority for young people aged 16-19 participating in education, training or employment.
Key achievements and next steps outlined in the report include:
- Plans for all secondary schools to offer a common and greatly extended vocational choice of courses, in partnership with Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University (QMU) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
- Plans to develop the extended Modern Apprenticeships portfolio
- Delivering new Foundation Apprenticeships in Financial Services, Scientific Technologies and Social Care, thanks to funding from Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Government
- Delivering a P7 STEM transition event to all primary schools, following the success of the initial project with the Ross High cluster in 2017 that was identified by the Scottish Government as an example of excellent partnership practice
- Expanding Career Education training to staff in Primary Schools
Councillor Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet Spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services, said:
"It is very encouraging to note that the numbers of young people going on to education, training or employment is at its highest ever level." Cllr Shamin Akhtar
“The role of Developing the Young Workforce is integral to raising the attainment and achievement of our children and young people, as well as delivering on our aim to reduce inequalities within and across our communities, including closing the attainment gap.
“It is very encouraging to note that the numbers of young people going on to education, training or employment is at its highest ever level. However, we must never become complacent and we must always strive to make continuous improvements so that all of our young people achieve their potential.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting and encouraging our young people to achieve their very best, and it seems appropriate that in this Year of Young People, we strengthen that commitment through the work of programmes such as this.”