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Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is a seven-year programme (2014-2021) that aims to better prepare children and young people aged 3–18 for the world of work.

This programme builds on the foundations already in place through Curriculum for Excellence.

The headline aim of Developing the Young Workforce is to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.

Education Working For All, the final report of the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce, was published in June 2014.

The Government's response to this report was published in the form of the Youth Employment Strategy in December 2014. The strategy includes milestones for the seven-year programme across all sectors, challenging schools, colleges and employers to embrace the recommendations and implement the measures required to effect lasting change. Equality, inclusion and STEM subjects are highlighted as areas of importance with over a third of all key milestones relating to these areas.

The Youth Employment Strategy summarises the ambitions for local authorities, schools and their partners. For schools, these are summed up under the following key themes:

  • Expanding the offer – increasing the route from schools into employment, or further education which is closely linked to employment
  • Promoting and shaping the offer – engaging with young people, parents, teachers and practitioners, partners and employers
  • Supporting teachers and practitioners to develop children's and young people's learning about the world of work
  • Providing earlier relevant, labour-market focused career advice when young people need it, leading to better outcomes
  • Embedding meaningful employer involvement
  • Consolidating partnership working with colleges and other training providers
  • Young people able to access more vocational options during the senior phase of secondary school, which delivers routes into good jobs and careers, developed through effective partnership between schools, colleges, local authorities and other partners
  • Improving opportunities and experiences for all learners, with a focus on reducing gender imbalance on course take-up
  • Development of foundation apprenticeships in schools
  • Stronger partnerships between employers and education.

Key milestones

These milestones have been set out for all relevant ‘change themes’ over the seven year implementation phase of the programme. They have been collated for the following academic years:

Read about the overarching milestones for schools until 2021.

Key documents

Education Scotland/Scottish Government released the following key documents in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland, and parent and employer representatives, in September 2015:

A range of other resources to support DYW implementation are also available on the National Improvement Hub.

The DYW programme is a key priority in education as outlined in the National Improvement Framework. It is closely aligned to the Scottish Attainment Challenge and supports the realisation of key priorities of the programme

Related links

  • Education Scotland Learning Blog - View the latest skills posts on the Learning Blog
  • Senior phase - Read an introduction to the senior phase of the 3-18 curriculum and download key documents
  • 16+ Learning Choices - This Framework supports delivery of Scottish Government's guaranteed offer of post-16 learning to every young person in the senior phase
  • Developing Employability and Skills - ​This programme defines how Education Scotland will work with partners to deliver agreed aspects of the DYW programme.

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