Developing the Young Workforce - Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy - 2nd Annual Report 2015/2016

Date: 24th January 2017

In publishing the Youth Employment Strategy, Developing the Young Workforce, in December 2014, the Scottish Government committed to annual reporting on progress. This second annual report largely covers academic year 2015/16 and highlights early progress made in the first part of academic year 2016/17.

The report sets out the improvements being made across the learning system and with employers to prepare young people for working lives. It details the way in which, two years into implementation, expansion and enhancement of the reach, range, quality and impact of work based and work relevant opportunities for young people continues apace.


Headlines include:

  • 17 regional DYW employer groups in place working with schools and colleges across the country;
  • vocational provision for young people in the senior phase is growing, including a significant expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships;
  • first increased target for Modern Apprenticeships was exceeded;
  • the introduction of careers advice earlier in schools and creation of new standards for careers education and for work placements in schools and colleges;
  • A gender action plan in place for further and higher education, and an equalities plan for apprenticeships to ensure Scottish Government are doing all they can to shift under representation in certain subjects and careers.

Next steps

Looking ahead, momentum is needed in moving into the middle phase of the programme. Now that the establishment of regional employer groups is underway, Scottish Government will focus on raising their profile and impact in schools and colleges, and consider their sustainability. They will also assess the impact of the new careers standard and how it is changing practice and consider how the work placement standard is developing employer engagement in schools and colleges. The continued expansion of vocational courses will also be a focus in the year ahead, and they will be able to assess how the experience in schools is changing for all young people, especially those from different equality protected characteristics.

Measuring impact

At the level of assessing the high-level impact needed, 11 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been established which underpin the programme. The headline target for the programme is to reduce the level of youth unemployment (excluding those in full-time education) by 40 per cent by 2021.

Further progress needed in:

  • Being one of the top five performing countries in the EU for youth unemployment by reducing the youth unemployment rate to match the fifth best country in the EU by 2021(KPI 2);
  • To reduce to 60 per cent the percentage of Modern Apprenticeship frameworks where the gender balance is 75:25 or worse by 2021 (KPI 7)