​​​​​Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is a seven-year programme that aims to better prepare children and young people from 3–18 for the world of work. This programme builds on the foundations already in place as part of Curriculum for Excellence. The programme’s main aim is to better prepare young people for the world of work and subsequently reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021​​.​​​​

Since the implementation of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy in 2014, Education Scotland has published a number of key documents and related resources to support teachers and practitioners in implementing the ambitions around Developing the Young Workforce across education. Here are three of the key documents.

PDF file: Career Education Standard (821 KB)​​ - This document shows what your child is entitled to and how you can support them.

PDF file: Work Placements Standard (655 KB) - This document outlines the changes to work placements and the expectations of young people, employers, parents, schools and local authorities.

PDF file: School Employer Partnership (510 KB)​​ - This document provides guidance for schools and employers to support meaningful and productive partnerships.​

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Seven Year Plan​

Learners’ perspective​​

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Training and employment

Building on career education delivered from early years onwards, young people in the senior phase (S4-S6) will be able to access a range of opportunities and experiences that allow them to develop relevant skills and gain a better understanding of the world of work. These experiences will help them make choices on their future career pathway.

Broad General Education​

Building on your child’s experiences in primary school, secondary schools now​ offer a wide range of opportunities for young people to develop their employability skills, gain experiences of the world of work and incorporate work-based learning elements together with employers.​

PDF file: Guide for Parents and Carers (​1.4 MB)





Pathways in the Senior Phase

Curriculum planning and structures in schools have continued to evolve progressively as new qualifications have been in​troduced alongside traditional subjects. Many secondary schools are now offering a wide range of work-based learning courses and qualifications that allow learners to explore direct pathways into employment. Find out more about the choices available in your child’s school.

PDF file: Pathways in the Senior P​hase (240 KB)

Learning pathways in the senior phase and beyond

Related Scottish Qualification Awards, Certificates and Qualifications​

Skills for Work courses

Professional Development Awards

National Certificate and National Progression Awards​​

Apprenticeship Family​

The apprenticeship family plays a key role in helping young people to learn and get experience to help them succeed in their chosen career pathway. Apprenticeships are designed to tackle potential skills gaps and support young people to develop a set of specific work related skills. Apprenticeships offer high quality work-based learning and young people will work on real tasks with experienced colleagues. Young people can build their confidence and gain relevant professional qualifications.

Apprenticeships in a Nutshell​

Foundation Apprenticeships​

Senior Phase and Foundation Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships

Graduate Apprenticeships

Developing the Young Workforce - Video journeys