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Praise for Edinburgh Career Services

9 February 2018 

Career information, advice and guidance services in Edinburgh have been given top marks by education watchdogs.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) careers services scored grades of very good and good across all categories in an Education Scotland review published on Friday.

It cited SDS has "major strengths" in the delivery of key services, management of service delivery, meeting the needs of stakeholders and strategic leadership.

The review stated SDS staff at all levels are highly motivated and committed to meeting the needs of their customers.

It also described SDS's contribution to customer progression and achievement of relevant, high quality outcomes for people using the organisation's services as "good".

The Education Scotland review highlighted how targeted equalities initiatives have led to a highly inclusive approach for customers, how SDS works well with a variety of partners to meet customers' needs and how SDS services are highly regarded by staff at all levels in the city's schools and Edinburgh College.

An example of excellence in the review was how training to support members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community led to the formation of an organisation-wide Allies network across SDS to support customers and employees.

SDS Head of Operations for South East of Scotland Grant McDougall said: "This is a very positive report from Education Scotland. I am extremely proud of the team and the strong approach to partnership working in Edinburgh particularly with schools, the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh College and the DWP. This sort of close collaboration is vital to support the diverse customer groups in the city."

"We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to build on our successes and the areas highlighted for development."

Grant also praised the local team's commitment and support for customers of all ages.

He said: "It is great to see the hard work and dedication of the Edinburgh team recognised in the review. The positive outcomes reflect their very valuable personal contributions and the work of SDS as an organisation."

"Our careers staff work hard every day to help people in Edinburgh move forward in their careers, both in school and in our newly refurbished centre in Shandwick Place. I am delighted to see this dedication recognised by Education Scotland."

Assessors spent a week last November asking staff, customers and partner agencies about their experiences of SDS careers services.

Grant McDougall, SDS Head of Operations for South East Scotland

Careers staff were praised for their dedicated work with young people to increase the numbers going in to work, training, further or higher education. Figures show the numbers of young people moving into positive destinations is almost 94%, which is slightly above the national average.

The review noted staff also work well with learners in schools who have Additional Support Needs to prepare them for the transitions from school.

Care experienced young people in the city highly value the support they receive from SDS staff and partnership working with Edinburgh City Council Through Care After Care.

Adult customers are "very satisfied" with the "highly responsive" support they receive from SDS, claiming it has helped them gain confidence in applying for jobs. Employers and customers facing redundancy issues are "well supported" by SDS through the delivery of the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

The review highlighted the "very strong" partnerships between the Edinburgh team and the local authority, saying that SDS senior manager play a "critical role" in the development of multi-agency strategies to support the Edinburgh Partnership.

National skills body SDS offers free, impartial career information, advice and guidance for people of all ages in secondary schools, centres and community venues across Scotland.

Customers can get information and advice covering areas including jobs, the local labour market, training courses and apprenticeships.

SDS delivers face-to-face career information, advice and guidance at schools and from its centre at 79 Shandwick Place.

Get in touch and get updates at

and find out more about SDS services in Edinburgh at

Source - Skills Development Scotland Website

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