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Scotland leading the way in career guidance

19 July 2018 

Skills Development Scotland's approach to careers advice has been backed by a leading international economic group.

New research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has explored career decisions and career guidance for young people - and Scotland's careers service is already ahead of the curve.

The OECD report, Working It Out: Career Guidance and Employer Engagement, finds that career guidance can often improve educational, social and economic outcomes.

Integrated, multi-channel delivery

It refers to Scotland as having a "well-developed and comprehensive system of career guidance", and highlighted SDS's "integrated, multi-channel delivery of the CIAG (career information, advice and guidance) service".

Sandra Cheyne, CMS Policy and Professional Practice Manager at Skills Development Scotland, said: "The OECD sets out a series of recommendations in terms of career guidance across member countries, and it is encouraging to see that Scotland is already ahead of the curve in many areas.

"At SDS, our career information and guidance service focuses on the future, encouraging young people to develop career management skills which will prepare them for the dynamic world of work they will experience.

"We make sure that we are engaging with learners from as early as Primary 5, and that young people have the opportunity to engage with our professionally qualified advisers throughout education and beyond.

"There is no doubt that career guidance services have an impact on young people's future decisions, and as such we are committed to providing a first-class service to help them get to where they want to be."

Available to all

The OECD report suggests that good careers advice should be available to all young people. Some countries face challenges in terms of career guidance, including services being offered too late, career guidance being restricted to school only, and it being delivered by poorly-trained staff.

The report includes ways in which career guidance can be improved - and in Scotland, Skills Development Scotland's services are already in line with many of these.

The report says that schools should be providing a regular opportunity for children and young people to reflect on and discuss their prospective futures, and that there should be a school-wide approach, bringing on board careers specialists, to provide the best guidance.

Early access

It also recognises that schools should begin exploring career options early with pupils, as well as the importance of exposure to the world of work.

SDS provides career guidance in schools, high street career centres and community premises across Scotland. Professionally qualified, expert careers advisers work to ensure that children have the skills and tools to make informed decisions about their futures, with knowledge of local labour markets and skills requirements.

In Scotland, the Career Management Skills (CMS) Framework for Scotland 2012 defined a core set of competencies that would enable individuals to make and take ongoing career decisions. Utilising and mapped to this framework, the Career Education Standard was introduced in 2015.

It sets out what children and young people will learn and what parents and carers, teachers and practitioners, employers and Skills Development Scotland will do to support their learning from the ages of three to 18.

Skills Development Scotland worked with OECD staff on the research process, along with representatives from Switzerland and Germany.

Source - Skills Development Scotland Website

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