More careers advisers to be placed in schools
Skills Development Scotland has launched its strategy for the next three years, promising to put more careers advisers into schools and work in closer cooperation with teachers on integrating career management skills into Curriculum for Excellence.
The number of pupils SDS advisers work with will rise by more than 14 per cent in 2012-13, from 118,223 to 135,535, according to the government agency. There will be a slight increase in the number of full-time equivalent advisers - 251 in 2012-13, compared with 246 this year.
Danny Logue, director of operations, said that Scotland had a unique opportunity with Curriculum for Excellence to embed careers management into the curriculum, rather than it remaining the "add-on" it had traditionally been.
SDS needed to be "much more flexible" with the services it provided in response to the "educational experience young people are dealing with", said Mr Logue.
"The key to the new strategy is the partnership between our staff and teachers," he added.
The new strategy, to be implemented from August, would therefore combine universal services for all pupils - including the My World of Work online portal and the entitlement to face-to-face careers support if required - with targeted, intensive support for those identified by their schools as most at risk of ending up not in work, education or training.
In line with the CfE focus on skills for work and life, SDS's work will also stress career management skills - by helping teachers to include these in the curriculum and by teaching group sessions.
In colleges, targeted support for those at risk of dropping out will continue, while the new college learning programme will see SDS fund a proportion of college places directly, he added. SDS is also committed to funding 75,000 modern apprenticeships over the next three years.
Launching the new strategy earlier this week, SDS chief executive Damien Yeates said: "The way people learn and get information is transforming, as is the world of work. Skills Development Scotland is responding to these changes by providing services in line with customer demand.
"We are equipping our staff to help those who need it most, and working with employers to meet their needs now and into the future. By linking learning and training with industry needs, we plan to create the right conditions for an ambitious economic future."