Young People's Pathways


About the Inquiry

The Committee undertook a survey to find out why young people follow certain routes, what helps them and what hinders them, and whether they get to where they want to be. This includes the support and information available to help them know, at school and beyond, what the available options are. A BIG THANK YOU to YoungScot, YouthLink Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament for producing the survey with us.

The results of the Committee's survey is available in this SPICe analysis

Many thanks to all 895 of you who completed our survey. On the basis of the survey the Committee undertook a short inquiry into progress towards implementation of two recommendations relating to school from Developing the Young Workforce. These recommendations are reproduced below. The Committee issued a targeted call for views to representatives of young people, parents, schools, delivery bodies such as Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland.

Senior Phase Vocational Pathways

Recommendation 1: Pathways should start in the senior phase which leads to the delivery of industry recognised vocational qualifications alongside academic qualifications. These pathways should be developed and delivered in partnership with colleges and, where necessary, other training providers. Their delivery should be explicitly measured and published alongside other school performance indicators.

Preparing Young People For The World Of Work

Recommendation 2: A focus on preparing all young people for employment should form a core element of the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence with appropriate resource dedicated to achieve this. In particular local authorities, Skills Development Scotland and employer representative organisations should work together to develop a more comprehensive standard for careers guidance which would reflect the involvement of employers and their role and input.

More information on the inquiry can be found in the news release.

The Scottish Government has published its Learner Journey Review which is a useful source for the context of the inquiry

To find out how the Scottish Parliament treats your personal data please read the Privacy Notice for written submissions.    

More about us
More about what the Committee does, and why, is available here. 

And here is the link to our full guide on how to submit information to the Committee. 

If you have any questions about this work, please contact the clerks on 0131 348 5204. 

If you would like to comment further, please email the Committee on [email protected] 

If you prefer, you could send a letter to:

Education and Skills Committee
Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

If you find it easier to communicate in a language other than English, that's fine. We welcome written evidence in any language. We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in BSL through 

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The Committee heard evidence over four committee meetings from June to October 2018. 

6 June 2018 

The Committee heard evidence from the following organisations at the inquiries opening meeting. 

  • Association of Directors of Education
  • Colleges Scotland
  • Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Scottish Secondary Teachers Association  

Read the papers from the meeting (1.96Mb pdf) 

Read the official report.  

13 June 2018

At the second meeting of the inquiry the Committee heard evidence from:

  •  Sir Ian Wood
  • Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive, Opportunity North East  

Read the papers from the meeting (1Mb pdf) 

Read the official report.   

26 September 2018
The Committee heard evidence from: 

  • Education Scotland
  • Skills Development Scotland    

Read the papers from the meeting (3.25MB pdf)  

Read the official report.   

3 October 2018 

At the final evidence session the Committee heard evidence from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.   

Read the papers from the meeting (1.29Mb pdf)  

Read the official report.   



Submissions have been received from:  

October 2018  

The Committee received supplementary information from the Scottish Government and from Skills Development Scotland in respect of careers information and developing the young workforce.  

Visits and Events

Young Women Lead project focus group  

The Convener facilitated a focus group with 15 young women from the Young Women Lead project on Thursday 31st May. Around half of the group were currently at school and a number of the other attendees are in roles where they work with young people currently at school and considering what to do on leaving school.  

Shetland Visit 

A cross party group of MSP's from the Education and Skills Committee visited various venues in Shetland including a high school, a primary school, the local college and local businesses. The Committee heard from a variety of stakeholders in respect of Young People's Pathways.   

The Committee would like to thank the various groups that they heard from on this visit. 

A link to the notes from the visit is here. 


Following the first committee meeting on this inquiry, the Convener wrote to the Minister for Employability and Training regarding Developing the Young Workforce.

Following on from the meeting on the 6 JUne 2018 the Scottish Funding Council wrote to the Committee enclosing additional information on senior phase vocational pathways data.

The Committee received a response from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills to the letter sent on the 8 June 2018. 

Skills Development Scotland published a report on the 21 September on Delivering Scotland’s Career Service. A link to the report is here

The Committee received a letter from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills regarding the Personal and Social Education review.

The Committee received a letter from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills regarding an amendment to the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Key Performance Indicators.

The Committee received a letter from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills regarding commisioning research on young peoples experience of zero hour contracts.

The Convener wrote to the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills regarding statistics on the destinations of young people when they leave education. Read the letter from the Convener and the Ministers response.


The Committee published its report on the Young People's Pathways inquiry.

Here is a short video in which young people talk about some of the key recommendations from the report.

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills wrote to the Convener responding to the Young People's Pathways report.

The Committee received a response from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and from Skills Development Scotland (SDS)to its report.

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