The CnES strategy of ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ exists to improve the employability and broader life-chances of all young people in school. In the Outer Hebrides, ensuring young people have relevant skills for work and enterprise is as much an economic and cultural imperative as it is educational. Schools need to enable young people with the self-confidence and local work-based skills required by the economy and with the capacity to maximise the islands’ linguistic and cultural opportunities.
For pupils it means equitable access to:
- Enterprising learning and teaching in schools P1-S6.
- High quality, certificated senior phase work placements with local employers in the private/public/third sector.
- An adaptable curriculum reflective of employment opportunities and economic trends
- Personalised, certificated applied-learning choices throughout Senior Phase – as part of coherent progression-pathways into work/training/study
- Certificated experiences of running micro businesses, social/community enterprises, with support from local employers / community organisations
Without an enterprising disposition and work-based skills our young risk being overly dependent on others, vulnerable to change, frightened by uncertainty and unable to realize their potential and earn a decent living. However an enterprising, work-based curriculum cannot be a bolt-on – something for the non-academic ‘others’. A failure to develop the entire young workforce risks sowing societal inequality and economic stagnation. DYW’s skills/enterprise agenda cannot be achieved by the occasional experience – it must be the core business of education.*’
All pupils have entitlements to develop the knowledge, skills, experiences and certification required of a young workforce and locally this is progressed through a (Scottish first) CnES education/economic skills strategy. This data-driven strategy reflects both labour-market demand and the stated aspirations of young people - and has contributed to among the highest vocational attainment and positive/sustained destinations rates nationally.
* ’The success of the [Scottish] education system will be judged on the extent to which it contributes to the national indicator on positive and sustained destinations.’ Scottish Government BtC3'
Skills and Enterprise Officer
Skills and Enterprise Education Adviser