Q and A with Skills Development Scotland

Recently, an NPFS regional rep asked for further information about how SDS services support young people in making well informed choices about their next steps in learning and future careers. The queries and responses are shown in the Q&As below:

How are schools, parents and young people engaging with My World of Work. What impact is it having?

The number of young people using Scotland’s careers website My World of Work is steadily growing.  Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work team are focussing on younger pupils in particular in the year ahead, with our tools for Primary 5 to 7 pupils and their teachers.

SDS careers advisers begin engaging with young people at school as part of their induction from primary to secondary, or early in their first year, and My World of Work is an integral component of that group session and throughout our careers advisers’ work with young people, parents, carers and teachers.

My World of Work has specific areas for both and parents and carers and teachers.

At the parents and carers area there is information on how to talk about careers with your child, advice articles, information on using the website and much more.

Go to myworldofwork.co.uk/parents to take a look.

The teacher (or Partner) area has activities and lesson inserts that support the service to develop career management skills, and are mapped to Curriculum for Excellence & Career Education Standard. Feedback on the resources has been extremely positive

Go to myworldofwork.co.uk/partners to take a look.

Headline figures from our recent My World of Work user survey of over 2,000 individual users of the service and included feedback from teachers and parents and carers found:

  • 92% say it’s easy to use
  • 87% would recommend to others
  • 92% say it’s easy to understand
  • 92% agree it provides useful information

The full report is due to be published soon and we’ll keep NPFS updated on the results.

How is Skills Development Scotland targeting and engaging with those hardest to reach young people to make sure they are supported to enter a positive post-school pathway?

Skills Development Scotland is Scotland’s careers service.

SDS Careers Advisers deliver career information, advice and guidance services in every state secondary school in Scotland, developing young people’s Career Management Skills. These skills will help to ensure these young people are successful career planners in school and throughout their lives.

The comprehensive careers service of one-to-one coaching, group sessions, drop-in clinics and availability at events including parents’ nights is universal for all pupils.

We work with a range of partners to ensure pupils are fully supported to overcome any barriers in making a successful transition from school.

SDS careers teams also use a ‘needs matrix’ to provide further support to those young people who may need it as they leave school. Using our coaching approach, they will receive intensive one-to-one sessions and further group sessions where needed.

Our post-school team can support school leavers until they find and sustain the opportunity that is right for them. If needed we can allocate a Work Coach who will work intensively with the young person involving partner agencies as appropriate to ensure they develop this skills, confidence and resilience they need to make a successful transitions.

Find out more about SDS careers services at this link.

How does Skills Development Scotland work in partnership with local authorities and other agencies to ensure they are working in a joined up way to have greatest impact on young people?

SDS work with a wide range of organisations that provide information and services to young people.

This includes close working with local authorities and schools, Education Scotland DWP, colleges, training providers,the voluntary sector and of course parents’ groups like NPFS to ensure that we are working in a joined up way to have the greatest impact for young people.

We also do this through our Opportunities for All partnerships and individually negotiated School Partnership Agreements with every school in Scotland.

With Foundation Apprenticeships levelled at SCQF level 6, is this not restricting less academic young people who might benefit from this kind of vocational learning?

FAs will benefit young people who prefer practical and active learning, have a mature attitude and are motivated and enthused by exposure to college and workplace environments as a complement to their other school courses.

By setting the level of a Foundation Apprenticeship at SCQF level 6, SDS have signalled the importance of the programme in providing a work based option for learners with an equivalent value to traditional Highers.

This helps to bring Scotland in line with other successful economies in Europe where there are high quality academic and comparable work-based pathways.

The groundbreaking use of industry led Vocational Qualifications means pupils exiting from a Foundation Apprenticeship can fast track a Modern Apprenticeship in that industry; go straight into the workplace or, because of the level of the award, use it for entry into Higher Education.

This wouldn’t be possible with an award at a lower SCQF level. Where more appropriate, there are other options such as Skills for Work courses which provide work related learning opportunities, still often in partnership with colleges, at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 5.

Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships, Modern Apprenticeships and Graduate Level Apprenticeships.

How are you communicating information on Foundation Apprenticeships to parents?

SDS is engaged in a wide range of activity to promote FAs to parents and carers, including on social media, radio, national and regional press and soon you’ll see our Get Into Apprenticeships campaign popping up across the country.

All our regional teams have either been personally involved in parents evenings both at schools and colleges or provided presentation materials for careers teams for use at parents nights and subject choices events in schools.

In addition, we have worked closely with the team at NPFS to produce an apprenticeships in a nutshell guide.

 

 

 

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