Skills for Scotland makes clear the Scottish Government's desire for all young people to stay in learning after 16. It makes a clear commitment to young people about the routes on offer to education, employment and training (and the support they can expect) and recognises the need to focus on particularly vulnerable groups of young people.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Review recognised that for higher attaining young people the post-school transition to further or higher education is fairly straightforward but that for lower-attaining learners there were more complex and uncertain pathways.
16+ Learning Choices is the new model for taking forward the Skills for Scotland commitment. This model will ensure that there are clear, robust processes in place for ensuring that all young people completing compulsory education have an offer of a suitable place in post-16 learning, with a particular focus on providing more choices and more chances for those who need them. As such it will support the planning and delivery of a coherent and inclusive curriculum in the senior phase, irrespective of the setting.
There are three crucial elements to ensure that this happens:
- Young people must have access to the right learning provision - which includes opportunities to continue to develop the four capacities through staying on at school, entering further or higher education, taking part in a national training programme, volunteering, participating in community learning and development, or following a more tailored programme of personal and social development.
- Young people must have the right support to remove barriers that might restrict their learning choices as well as career information, advice and guidance from Skills Development Scotland and other support agencies to help them take up and sustain the right choices. This will be intensive and ongoing where it is needed, tailored to respond to identified needs.
- Young people must also be able to access financial support so that staying in learning is a viable option.
Our Skills Development Scotland Key Worker plays a crucial role by providing careers information, advice and guidance for all young people and focused support - ongoing and intensive where it is needed - for those who need it most.