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Discovering Your Potential

Discovering Your Potential provides flexible and intensive support for young care leavers, and is delivered by the Young Person's Consortium.


The Young Person’s Consortium consists of Barnardo’s, the Prince’s Trust and Action for Children.  The Consortium delivers the Discovering Your Potential employability programme which is specifically aimed at supporting young care leavers. The Scottish Government has been grant funding this successful programme for the last four years.

The Consortium collaborate to help disadvantaged young people access the full range of services and ultimately move into positive outcomes. The programme aims to improve the pathway outcomes to education training and employment for care experienced young people who are, or have been Looked After at Home.  Young people from this most vulnerable group have historically received less targeted support and as a result are particularly disadvantaged when achieving positive destinations on leaving school.

While generally Barnardos and Action for Children deliver long-term intensive key worker support prior to young people moving into positive destinations, Princes Trust delivers shorter term, group support sessions for those young people who will benefit more from that level of intervention.

Key features of the support include:

  • Personal 1:2:1 support developed through trusted relationships
  • Identifying, assessing and overcoming wider barriers to employment (Housing, Mental Health, Money Management)
  • Personal Development opportunities combined with access to Industry Related qualifications, flexible work placements, regular input from employers
  • Long term In Work Support to ensure any move in to an Apprenticeship or Job has tangible career development opportunities that the young person can sustain.

Discovering Your Potential Employability Programme

To learn more, click on the subheadings to the right.

Legal Context

Sections 2, 8 and 10 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 provide Scottish Ministers with the powers to support training opportunities to help people gain the skills they need to move into work.

Objectives of the Programme

Discovering Your Potential is an employability programme delivered by the Young People’s Consortium, which consists of Barnardo’s, Action for Children and the Prince’s Trust. The programme aims to support the Scottish Government’s key priority of closing the attainment gap, and opening up new educational and employment pathways in line with Scotland’s Developing the Young Workforce Strategy and the Young Person’s Guarantee.

Delivery of the combined Programme is aimed at supporting young people aged 16 to 29 who have left the care system and face multiple barriers to accessing positive destinations, including: employment, further/advanced education or training.  Part of the programme is also aimed at supporting those aged 16 to 17 years who have additional support needs or face challenges or barriers to entering the labour market.

Programme Funding

In 2021-22, the Scottish Government has awarded grant funding of £1.745 million to the Young People’s Consortium to deliver Discovering Your Potential.

The eligible costs for use of grant funding include operational and development costs of supporting the young people participating in the programme, as well as administration.

Engagement with Employers

The programme also focuses on active engagement with employers and the Developing the Young Workforce Regional groups to help young people move into employment.  In particular there is a focus on working in partnership to develop supported employment opportunities in the third sector for groups of young people who face significant barriers to employment.


The impact of Discovering Your Potential is evidenced by a combination of hard and soft outcomes. Hard outcomes include the numbers of young people progressing into positive destinations, such as further training and employment. Soft outcomes are also measurable and include the achievement and development of skills such as improved resilience, aspiration, motivation, self-belief and personal responsibility.


The Young People’s Consortium provides quarterly reports to Scottish Government detailing the progress of the programme. Case studies are also submitted throughout the year showing where the greatest impact has been achieved in improving employability and transitions into positive destinations.

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