Future more positive for school leavers

Young volunteers at the Beadazzling shop in Dalkeith - one local project to help school leavers
Young volunteers at the Beadazzling shop in Dalkeith - one local project to help school leavers

More school leavers from Midlothian are going on to a positive destination such as further education or a job, figures have revealed.

Collated by the national skills body, Skills Development Scotland, they show that 90 per cent of school leavers in Midlothian have, for example, found a job, enrolled in college or training or secured another positive destination such as volunteering.

This compares with 89.2 per cent at this time last year.

The statistics are in stark contrast to 2009-10 when Midlothian was at the bottom of the Skills Development Scotland table on 83.1 per cent.

In December 2014 the percentage of Midlothian school leavers in positive destinations was 93.9 per cent but as is traditionally the case, this number reduces in the summer term.

Councillor Bob Constable (SNP), Midlothian’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “While we’re pleased the number of our young people in positive destinations is up on last year, we’re obviously concerned that there are a small group of young people who are not able to sustain their destination. This can happen when, for example, a temporary job comes to an end, a young person decides to seek a different direction in their career or a college place does not work out for them.

“Positive destinations remain a key priority for Midlothian Council and we are committed to implementing the recommendations in the Scottish Government’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ programme. This includes, for example, closer partnership working with Edinburgh College and Queen Margaret University, increasing vocational opportunities as part of the senior school curriculum and ensuring that all young people are provided with opportunities to develop employability skills.

“We’re determined that all of our young people are given the best possible opportunities whilst at school to help them secure a positive destination. When they leave school we will continue to support them to ensure they maintain a positive destination. It is ambitious target but our aim is to eventually have all school leavers going on to a positive destination.”