Launching an HMI report on education for work in Grangemouth on Wednesday, Henry McLeish, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister, said: "There is still much more to do if we are to prepare our young people to play a central role in the drive to build a vibrant and successful economy."
Mr McLeish now wants more businesses to become involved in enterprise projects and work experience. Sam Galbraith, Children and Education Minister, said enterprise education gave learning "purpose and meaning", and education for work increased motivation and attainment.
ducation for work is now seen by HMI and ministers as a natural vehicle for driving forward a number of initiatives, from social inclusion to raising standards. It was "not an optional extra", Douglas Osler, senior chief inspector of schools, said in Grangemouth.
Mr Osler added: "Young people respond best when they see the relevance of their school work to their future lives. When young people see purpose and are motivated, they attain better."
The "advocacy" nature of the report - which drew on best practice in 28 schools, supplemented by general inspections in another 114 - was welcomed by Brian Twiddle, director of the National Centre: Education for Work and Enterprise.