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Policy Overview

The Scottish Government's ambition is for every young Scot to progress in learning and training, toward and into employment. This is supported by a range of strategies and policies, spanning early years through to adulthood, aimed at driving whole-system improvements across the learning and wider support system to improve the life chances of all children and young people.

The Government's priority to this is reflected in the National Indicator in Scotland's National Performance Framework - to increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work.

Opportunities for All - introduced as part of Programme for Government in September 2011 is the Scottish Government's commitment to an offer of a place in learning or training for every 16-19 year old (up to their 20th birthday).  It brings together and builds on existing Scottish Government policies and strategies and embraces relevant UK Government policy in a single priority to support young people to participate in learning or training in order to improve their employment prospects.

Opportunities for All ensures access for all 16-19 year olds to a range of opportunities, including staying on at school beyond age 16, pre-employment training programmes, further and higher education, Activity Agreements, additional opportunities offered through the Third Sector, Community Jobs Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  It places specific focus on young people from age 16 up to their 20th birthday not already engaged in education, employment or training.

Curriculum for Excellence is about providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3-18, with learners' needs at the heart of planning and delivery. It encourages schools and their partners to deliver a flexible system that offers personalisation and choice to meet the needs of all young people, wherever their learning takes place. It also provides clear and supported pathways for young people to make successful transitions and to continue learning beyond compulsory schooling.   In the Senior Phase, broadly 15-18, it will be common for a young person to learn through a range of providers, including schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, youth work, employers and in other less formal settings. This makes it particularly important to ensure that all young people can experience a coherent curriculum in the full range of settings.

The More Choices, More Chances Strategy is about ensuring that vulnerable young people who may disengage / have disengaged from learning or are not in education, employment or training, are able to access the universal services and support from which they should benefit.   It is about aligning mainstream systems to cater for all young people.  More Choices More Chances has three key aims:

  • prevention; ensuring a joint commitment to action between central and local government, employers, learning providers and support agencies to develop the service infrastructure required to meet the needs of vulnerable young people;
  • intervention - appropriate early/staged intervention to address the barriers faced by those at risk of disengaging from learning or who have already disengaged, with access to opportunities to develop the skills for learning, life and work
  • sustainability - ensuring young people have the necessary skills and support to progress to and remain in employment.