The number of East Lothian’s young people leaving school and moving straight into employment, further or higher education or training after school is increasing.

"This highlights the many opportunities that exist for our young people,"    Cllr Shamin Akhtar

Data collected on pupils who left school in 2017/18 showed that 95.4% of all school leavers in East Lothian went into a positive destination. This is higher than the national and regional average and represents a rise on the previous year. While most young people move into further or higher education, the percentage of leavers moving into employment increased to 29.3% (from 25.7%). Looked after children, school leavers with additional support needs also reported increases, while the gap in positive outcomes for young people in the most and least deprived areas decreased.The figures were discussed at a recent meeting of the council's Education Committee.

East Lothian works closely with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and other partners to provide a range of opportunities in schools that will support young people achieve positive pathways. These include the expansion of the Foundation Apprenticeships offering in secondary schools, vocational courses through East Lothian Works, a two-day Jobs Kingdom Live event to give primary 5 pupils an insight into the world of work and a partnership with Exeter College for high-ability students. Education Scotland’s most recent inspection of the service praised this work, highlighting the effective collaboration between school and SDS staff to benefit young people.  

Commenting on the report Councillor Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet spokesperson for Education, said: “This is a great report and highlights the many opportunities that exist for our young people. It’s especially pleasing to see the increase in employment given the economic climate that we currently work within. This report clearly demonstrates that attainment is not limited to qualifications – there are a range of pathways that exist for our young people, including apprenticeships, to help them fulfil their potential and their individual aspirations. There is no single ‘correct’ route and it’s important that we work with our partners to make sure we are offering the best opportunities that we can.

“I’d like to commend all of our school staff, education colleagues and wide range of partners for creating these avenues to benefit our young people.” 

Published: Tuesday, 25th June 2019