Last Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

DYW – Interesting Practice: 'Workout' programme – South Ayrshire Council

What is this?

This exemplar provides an overview of ‘Workout’, an innovative and successful programme implemented by South Ayrshire Council in order to deliver sustainable positive destinations for targeted young people in the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence.

Who is this for?

This exemplar will be useful for practitioners involved in the planning, implementing and evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce agenda.

It supports professional reflections around the Career Education and Work Placements Standards as well as School / Employer Partnerships.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

This is an exemplar of interesting practice. It aims to inspire reflective thinking by practitioners engaged in career education and the provision of work placements for children and young people from 3 - 18. It focuses on curriculum provision at senior phase level and partnership working with employers and third sector organisations across the local authority. This exemplar is solution focused and outlines practical ideas on how to provide learners with the opportunity to enhance skills for learning, life and work (including STEM) as well as meaningful experiences of and access to the world of work.

You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • How effectively do you plan for career education opportunities and progression pathways for learners from 3 - 18?
  • In what ways do you ensure that you meet the needs of all learners to develop skills for learning, life and work?
  • In what ways does the curriculum provision and timetabling in your establishment incorporate career education for all learners?
  • To what extend are partners involved in delivering meaningful, work related experiences for learners, the delivery of skills and qualifications as well as prospective career opportunities?


Word file: 'Workout' Programme at South Ayrshire Council (82 KB)

Explore this resource

What was done?

The Workout programme provides pathways a for young people who are identified as at risk of failing to progress to a positive post school destination through an early intervention approach. It provides long term work placements and personal development and accredited learning for up to 100 young people in S4 - S6 across all secondary schools in South Ayrshire. The programme is run in collaboration with a wide variety of employers across South Ayrshire including key sectors such as engineering, leisure and tourism as well as building and construction.


South Ayrshire Council identified the need for increased opportunities for young people in the senior phase to access vocational, work based learning opportunities to complement the existing MCMC partnership activity that has been in place to support young people at risk of not progressing to positive sustained destinations.

What was the impact?

The Workout programme has delivered consistent, positive outcomes for young people in South Ayrshire. This includes progression from the programme to positive destinations of continued learning, training or employment as well as improvements in confidence and communication.

In 2014/15, 93% of young people in the programme progressed to a positive destination. 100 placements were initially available to schools and 72 young people participated in the programme. As a result a significant number of participants remained engaged with education in the senior phase reducing early dropping out rates.