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05/09/13 10:31

Scotland’s future workforce

Business-led commission makes recommendations to help young people into work.

A new report on how to help Scotland become a European leader in vocational education and training has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.

The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, chaired by leading industrialist Sir Ian Wood, was asked by Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance to explore ways to improve the transition from education to employment.

The Commission’s first set of recommendations which focus on the educational offer to young people were published today with a second report into employers’ support for young people due at the start of 2014.

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance said:

“Scotland continues to make good progress on youth employment and we remain better placed than the rest of the UK, but we aspire to be amongst the best in Europe. Our discussions with employers and other EU countries have highlighted a clear link between vocational training and low youth unemployment which is where much of our efforts must now be focused.

“The advent of Curriculum for Excellence will see our young people better placed than ever to progress in the global jobs market and our colleges are also focused on economic growth and preparing young people for employment. We are continuing to create 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship opportunities every year and every 16 to 19 year old in this country has a guaranteed offer of a place in education or training.

“These ground breaking reforms give us a strong platform to move forward in making vocational training in Scotland even better. I am very pleased to receive this first set of recommendations, and as the Commission progresses, I will continue to promote the benefits to employers of taking on young people through the Make Young People Your Business campaign. I look forward to receiving the second report which will complete a vitally important piece of work and help make education and training in Scotland truly world class.”

COSLA Education, Children and Young People Spokesperson, Cllr Douglas Chapman added:

“The report published today presents a clear way ahead on vocational education and training. It is a well written report which I think makes a good contribution to the debate on how we improve educational attainment and the job prospects for Scotland’s young people.

“The last few years have been particularly difficult for young people seeking work, and while the report does not offer an immediate solution, it opens up more possibilities for Scotland to excel on how we prepare young people for an increasingly competitive and globalised economy.

“I was struck after meeting Sir Ian recently how much the professionalism and commitment of teachers and local authority staff had impressed the Commission. I believe there are genuine strengths within Scottish education and that this report attempts to build on work that has already been undertaken by local authorities and schools.

“This is an important report that warrants careful consideration. Its publication today is really the start of more detailed work with Government on how best we can jointly respond to the interim report and its recommendations. The work of the Commission carries on, and will now consider the role of businesses at supporting young people into work. This second phase of the Commission is just as vital as the first and I look forward to reading the Commission’s final report next year.”

Notes to editors

The Commission today published its first report. It will publish its final recommendations in the second quarter of 2014. The key elements of the focus of the Commission’s work is on providing recommendations to the Government on:
• employers’ engagement with the youth labour market and vocational and further education with a view to addressing long term structural youth employment challenges
• improving the alignment of vocational and further education with labour market needs with a view to significantly improving young people’s preparedness for the world of work
• developing clearer vocational pathways for young people and better transitions onto those pathways from school-based Curriculum for Excellence.

The report is available at:


Angela Constance at Enable Scotland

Angela Constance at Enable Scotland

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