Action needed to deliver Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce targets


Key targets for the delivery of the flagship Developing the Young Workforce Programme are not being met. This is just one of the findings from a report issued today by Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee.


The inquiry was held in response to the views of nearly 900 young people. It examined progress being made following 2014’s Developing the Young Workforce report. This sought to build better relationships between businesses, schools and colleges including ensuring that all post-school options were equally valued and available to young people.

Today’s report reveals that performance indicators showed too little or no improvement in a number of areas including, positive destinations for care experienced young people; employment rates for disabled young people; and the level of employment of young people straight from school. The Committee also found insufficient progress has been made to encourage schools to provide routes from school such as foundation apprenticeships.

Now the Committee is calling for a range of actions to ensure that recommendations from Developing the Young Workforce are implemented by the Government’s target date of 2021. This includes more time for one to one careers guidance, more opportunities for work experience especially for those leaving school at around 16, and more support for businesses seeking to engage with schools and provide apprenticeships.

The Committee also reiterates its call for a vital reduction in teacher workload to help schools free up more time to support young people.

Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said:

“Leaving school is a major life event. While this brings many opportunities it can also be a daunting prospect. We want to make sure that young people get the appropriate information that they need and that they have confidence in the advice being given.

“It is positive that more young people than ever are going onto college or university. We recognise, however, that this isn’t the right choice for everyone

so it is important that our young people are confident in making their own choice based on personalised guidance.

“We held this inquiry in response to what 900 young people told us in the Year of Young People. Today’s report makes it clear that action is needed to ensure that the ambition of the Developing the Young Workforce report is met. To do this, we need to make sure that the career support available meets the needs of our young people. Something which can only be done with more one to one support.”

To ensure that young people get the most out of careers advice the Committee recommends that young people should be involved in the review of this service announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government.

A copy of the Committee’s report can be found on the Committee’s webpages.


The Committee’s overall conclusion states:

“…the pace of progress in implementing DYW is not presently sufficient to ensure the programme will be fully embedded by 2021. The Committee highlights this risk to the Scottish Government at this mid-way stage in the programme to enable it to look at ways for the programme to find a renewed emphasis in the next three years.”

In Spring 2018, the Committee conducted a survey with young people between the ages of 15 and 24 looking at why young people follow certain routes post school.

With nearly 900 responses, the Committee agreed to undertake a short inquiry into progress towards implementation of two recommendations relating to school from Developing the Young Workforce.

The Scottish Government established the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce in January 2013. Chaired by Sir Ian Wood, building better relationships between industry, schools and colleges was a key priority for the Commission.

The report from the Commission was published in June 2014 and was entitled ‘Education Working for All!’. Sir Ian Wood’s foreword stated:

“This is not part of the corporate responsibility agenda. It is very much in business and industry’s self-interest to maximise the skills and talents of an incredibly important resource – their future staff and workforce.”

In December 2014, the Scottish Government published its response to the Wood report, setting out its commitment to improving youth employment through reforms to both the education and skills systems in Scotland.

More information about the Committee’s work can be found on the Committee’s webpages.


Contact information

Media information

Committee information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

Keep up to date with us on:

keep up to date with what's happening in Parliament on Facebook Follow the Scottish Parliament on Twitter @ScotParl keep up to date with what's 
happening in Parliament on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.