Positive destinations for young Fifers

Cllr Lesley Laird said  fewer young people are unemployed on leaving school than was the case previously.
Cllr Lesley Laird said fewer young people are unemployed on leaving school than was the case previously.

New figures from the Scottish Government about the trends in school leavers’ destinations across the country have revealed that almost 93 per cent of Fife’s pupils are going onto ‘positive destinations’ when they finish their secondary school studies.

The School Leaver Destination Return (SLDR) by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) looks at the next steps of the 3,712 Fife school leavers, 2015 – 2016.

Data on outcomes in Fife show: 92.7 per cent of young people in Fife achieved a positive destination (employment, training or education). This is best performance achieved so far by the Fife Partnership, including secondary schools.

It is a jump of three per cent over a three year period, meaning that around 120 more young people achieved positive destinations than during the three years previously.

Four per cent more young people progressed directly into work from school than during 2012 – 2013.

Almost three per cent more young people progressed to Higher Education.

3.2 per cent fewer young people became unemployed than during 2012 – 2013. This is equivalent to 250 young people, compared to 370 young people 2012 – 2013.

These figures are the highest ever recorded for ‘positive destinations’ for Fife’s young people.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s depute leader and spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “When we started on this journey, our aim was to do the very best we could for all young people in Fife. This has involved making sure they have the best advice, support and opportunities possible to help them get on a career path right for them.

“The latest School Leaver Destination figures represent progress and show our maturing Fife Community Planning Partnership. We also know there is still much work to be done, and we’re all up for the challenge. We also take encouragement from the improvements over the last few years. A great deal of work goes into ensuring that progression routes are planned for young people, and parents and carers roles are key to making it work.

“Increasingly, planning also involves employers, as well as our partners in Further and Higher Education – because it does take everyone to play their part in supporting Fife’s young people. We are delighted to have the support of all our partners contributing to the improvements we are able to record and are keen to bring even more employers on board to work with our young people.

“Particularly pleasing is the fact that significantly fewer young people are unemployed on leaving school than was the case previously, but we are not complacent and invite more employers to come and work with us so that the outcomes get even better for our young people.”

Councillor Bryan Poole, Fife Council’s Education Convener, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise all of those involved in achieving this improvement and also to highlight a number of planned developments which will further improve future performance. These are captured in the Fife Partnership Developing the Young Workforce Strategy (DYW), which has four key strands: To enable a Culture of Enterprise in all classrooms in Fife Primary Schools; To enable programmes of work related learning for the senior phase of education, which provide structured opportunities for young people to work with employers; To enable structured early intervention activities for those most at risk of labour market marginalisation; To map work on business engagement with schools to enable more transparent information to be available for pupils, parents, businesses and key partners.”

Carrie Lindsay, director of Education and Children’s Services, added: “This area of work is crucial to ensuring that our young people build up skills, knowledge and experiences during education, to allow them to have a positive economic future.”