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Developing the Young Workforce

West Lothian has always been at the cutting edge of developing an educational curriculum that responds to labour market opportunities, integrating vocational skills and promoting enterprise. West Lothian Council aims to support our young people in order to make the most of their opportunities in life. We are committed to improving the educational attainment of our pupils and ensuring that they develop the essential skills for work in order to become effective contributors to our local community and to compete in a modern, integrated society.

An ambition of Developing the Young Workforce and of the Young Person’s Guarantee is about working with employers in order to shape the curriculum, and to expand upon the number of work-related learning opportunities available to our pupils, in order to inform and better equip the workforce of the future. This includes employers forming meaningful partnerships with our schools to directly contribute to the development of individual subjects, offering short work placements, engaging with teachers or supporting one of our schools’ programmes.

The Young Person’s Guarantee aims to give all young people, aged 16-24 in Scotland, the chance to succeed though the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, education, training or volunteering, with employers playing a crucial role in its design, delivery and success. To support the delivery of the Young Person’s Guarantee, we are working in partnership to encourage employers to create a range of opportunities for young people to realise their potential:

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately led to uncertainty for the future. Young people are at a higher risk of being unemployed and the serious challenge that this represents means that employer support is more important than ever.

The Career Ready Programme

The Career Ready Programme helps raise young people’s aspirations and life chances by bridging the gap between education and work. The two-year programme provides middle achieving students who have low/undefined aspirations and low social mobility with access to a real experience of the world of work.

The 5 elements of the programme are; a mentor from the world of work, a paid 4-week internship, masterclasses, events, and workplace visits.

Key contact person: 

Michelle Robertson (Education for Work Officer)

Work Experience Programme

In order to ensure that our young people gain insight, knowledge and skills around the world of work it is essential that they have access to authentic and relevant experiences.

Providing onsite/online work placements, or offering a work inspiration activity (such as a site tour, or careers talk) to students enables them to gain insights into the fast-changing world of work and identify the relevance between their studies and their employment options.

School students 14-18 years old may undertake a placement at any time of year. Our schools take a flexible approach to work experience placement planning, to ensure that the placement meets the needs of individual pupils. Placements may take many forms, ranging from a few hours a week to something longer term, depending on the availability of the employer and the circumstances of the student.


 All placements undergo a pre-placement check, support and guidance are offered accordingly.

Key Contact Person:

Michelle Robertson (Education for Work Officer)

The Schools Vocational Programme

The School Vocational Programme is designed to support young people who would benefit from additional experience and skills in the final 12 months before leaving school. The courses vary in their timing and duration with some running for 10 weeks and others for the full academic year. The courses are designed to help young people develop skills such as communication, working with others, problem-solving and ICT. Also, they will develop practical skills which will help them to move on from school into training, or employment.

The Schools Vocational Programme as well as helping to deliver skills, confidence and experience which are invaluable for a young person leaving school also provides them with additional qualifications. These range from First Aid, Health and Safety, REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene, the West Lothian Employability Award and other appropriate SQA or industry-recognised qualification.


Key Contact Person:

Stuart McKay (DYW Lead Officer)

Developing The Young Workforce Regional Group

Working in partnership with West Lothian Council, the employer led DYW West Lothian Regional Group connects employers with education and young people.  As part of a network of groups throughout Scotland, our work supports the delivery of the Young Person’s Guarantee, which includes a dedicated DYW School Coordinator in every secondary school to embed DYW employer offers within the curriculum.

Employers can support the Guarantee by:

  1. Inspiring and preparing young people for the world of work.
  2. Helping all young people to achieve their potential.
  3. Creating work-based learning, training, and up-skilling opportunities for young people.
  4. Creating job and apprenticeship opportunities.
  5. Ensuring a working environment which supports all young people and provides fair work.

To find out more about the benefits that young people can bring to your business and how we can support you, please click here.

Key Contact Person:

Sara Ward (DYW Project Liaison Officer)

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