Skills Development Scotland's approach to careers advice has
been backed by a leading international economic group.
The OECD report, Working It Out: Career Guidance and Employer
Engagement, finds that career guidance can often improve
educational, social and economic outcomes.
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
Source - Skills Development Scotland