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04/08/13 00:01

Good Luck Message for 2013 Exam Candidates from Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance

In Scotland, early August is always a time of nervous excitement for tens of thousands of our teenagers and their families.

After the euphoria of finishing school or even just getting through another year, comes the inevitable exam results, which in 2013 will drop this coming Tuesday.

I recall this time in my own life with mixed emotions – the build-up and the tension, but also the sense of change coming once that envelope is open.

These days, of course, technology has changed to the point where our young people no longer need to sit staring out of a window waiting for their postie – their results can be delivered instantly by text, which must surely make the whole process much easier.

In Scotland, we have seen improving levels of attainment in recent years and I, like the whole country, hope to see continued high levels of achievement in our young people.

Figures released earlier this year showed record levels of school leavers were staying in positive destinations, in other words college, university, employment or training. In my capacity as Minister for Youth Employment, I have visited many places, spoken to many people – both learners and employers – and seen for myself the enthusiasm and in our young people.

In a period of ongoing economic difficulty, that is excellent news for the prospects of our young people. They are all too aware that jobs have been difficult to come by in recent years and additional learning, skills and experience will give them the best possible chance of success in the future.

We want to help young people fulfil their potential, and while the last year has seen a dramatic improvement in youth employment levels, we need to keep pushing at ways in which we can support young people into employment.

Every 16-19 year old who doesn’t already have a place, has a guaranteed offer of a place in education or training through Opportunities for All. We will continue to support at least 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship starts every year, we’ve asked employers to make young their business and we are providing more financial support than ever before to help them do this.

This is of course the final year of Standard Grades which have served our young people well for their academic and working lives since the 1980s. Next year, National 4 and 5 qualifications are being introduced as a fundamental part of Curriculum for Excellence.

Finally, for those young people who don’t achieve what they hoped for, or even those who are in a better position than expected, the Skills Development Scotland exam results helpline will be open from Tuesday morning.

Expert advice on what to do next will be on hand at 0808 100 8000. The important thing is not to panic.

I would like to wish everyone the very best of luck for their results this year.

Contact: Stuart Lewis