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Technical Note: Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work

Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work

DESCRIPTION:

This indicator measures the proportion of 16-19 year olds participating in education, training or employment over the whole year (1st April-31st March).

The Annual Participation Measure is published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and uses the shared data set held by SDS on their Customer Support System (CSS).  The headline participation status is based on the classification with the highest number of days over the year.  Participation is defined as: School pupil, Further Education; Higher Education; Modern Apprenticeship; Full-Time Employment; Part-Time Employment; Self-Employed; Employability Fund Stages 2-4; Activity Agreements; Other Formal Training; Personal/ Skills Development; and Voluntary Work.

The indicator provides a measure of the status of the wider 16-19 cohort – not just those who have left school.  This helps to inform policy, planning and service delivery and determine the impact of the Scottish Government’s Opportunities for All policy, which offers a place in education or training for every 16-19 year old who is currently in work, education or training.

SOURCE:

The previous measure was the sustained School Leaver Destination Return which focused on a snap-shot of the destinations of individuals approximately 9 months after they had left school. However, because it focused solely on school leavers, this approach limited our ability to fully assess the impact that the Opportunities for All policy and the support provided by partner agencies has had on the entire 16-19 cohort.

The new measure is the annual participation measure, published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).  It reports on the activity of the wider 16-19 year old cohort, including those at school, and helps to inform policy, planning and service delivery and determine the impact of the Scottish Government’s Opportunities for All policy, which offers a place in education or training for every 16-19 year old who is not currently in work, education or training.

The measure uses the shared data set held by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on their Customer Support System (CSS). Partners who input to the shared data set are SDS Corporate Training System, Local Authorities, Colleges, Student Awards Agency Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and Department for Work and Pensions. Central to the creation of the shared dataset is the sharing of information to allow partners to identify what young people are doing in ‘real time’ throughout their 16-19 journeys. It also allows SDS and partners to improve service delivery and provide a more tailored offer, helping to identify the right time to engage with customers.

The SDS participation measure publication and further background information on the measure is available here.

DEFINITIONS:

The headline participation status is based on the classification with the highest number of days over the year.  Participation is defined as: School pupil, Further Education; Higher Education; Modern Apprenticeship; Full-Time Employment; Part-Time Employment; Self-Employed; Employability Fund Stages 2-4; Activity Agreements; Other Formal Training; Personal/ Skills Development; and Voluntary Work.  More widely, these are defined as:

Education Group

School Pupil

Relates to individuals reported on the roll of a local authority or grant-aided secondary or special school. It also includes young people who are receiving education through local authority purchased places at specialist provision, residential schools, those attending college or other providers but are on a school roll. In line with “Getting it Right for Every Child” (GIRFEC), the local authority should ensure each school maintains an accurate pupil roll. They should ensure their management information system is updated with information related to when a young person is planning to or has actually left school and this will be notified to SDS through regular data sharing.

Higher Education

Relates to individuals enrolled at a University, Higher Education Institution or College to follow a course of study at SCQF level 7 or above. This includes degree courses, courses for the education and training of teachers, higher level courses for professional qualification and Higher National Certificate / Diploma or equivalent. The individual could be enrolled on a Full-Time, Part-Time or distance learning basis.

Further Education

Those enrolled at college or other provider and studying below SCQF level 7, e.g. National Qualifications, Access courses, portfolio courses, portfolio preparation, pre-vocational courses and special programmes. The individual could be enrolled on a Full-Time, Part-Time or distance learning basis. Where an individual is attending college but they remain on the roll of a school, they will be recorded within the school pupil status.

 

Employment Group

Employment (full-time & part-time) and Self-Employment

Covers all individuals who consider themselves to be employed through undertaking paid work. This is based on self classification adopted by the Labour Force Survey. Individuals will be considered to be working full-time if they undertake paid work 16 hours or more per week and part-time for under 16 hours per week.

Self Employed is defined as an individual who is earning a living by working independently of an employer, either freelance or by running their own business including anyone working as a professional athlete.

Included in the employment group are those who are undertaking an internship, where a young person has completed an agreed course and is working for a set period in an organisation to enhance their skills and knowledge through practical work experience and for which the young person should be paid.

Modern Apprenticeship

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) provide individuals with the opportunity to secure industry-recognised qualifications at a range of Vocational Qualification (VQ) levels while earning a wage. It relates to individuals undertaking a modern apprenticeship where there is a public funding contribution administered by SDS on behalf of the Scottish Government.

 

Training and Other Development Group

Employability Fund

The Employability Fund aims to support activity that will help people to develop the skills needed to secure a job or progress to more advanced forms of training. The Employability Fund supports participants and activity that map to stages 2 to 4 of the Strategic Skills and employability pipeline (SSP).

Activity Agreements

An Activity Agreement is an agreement between a young person and an advisor that the young person will take part in a programme of learning and activity which helps them to become ready for formal learning or employment. Activity Agreements provide individual learning provision in a community or third-sector setting for those young people who are not ready or able to access formal learning post-16.

An Activity Agreement status will only be recorded when a young person has agreed either verbally or in writing to the offer of an Activity Agreement. This is recorded by local authorities as “signed up”. Young people who are only at the referral stage should not be reported as participating in an Activity Agreement

Other Formal Training

This includes those on a local authority or third sector funded training programme that have a formal attendance arrangement and trainees will be in receipt of a training allowance or grant. In addition, those receiving a scholarship or sponsorship to concentrate on vocational/sporting activity will be included here. This status would only include individuals who have a non-employed status but the individual is receiving external funding to participate in the activity. Community Jobs Scotland is also included within the category.

Personal/Skills Development

This status is split into two different categories – PSD (Employability) and PSD (Social & Health)

PSD (Employability)

Those who participate in activities with the aim of improving their employability. These formal programmes will often be delivered by community learning and development or third sector organisation. Also included is the Work Programme via DWP. The courses will have a structured attendance pattern.

PSD (Social & Health)

Some young people may not be ready to enter the labour market and will require access to support from support services to make transitions into learning/ work or adulthood. This status relates to individuals who are undertaking structured opportunities appropriate to their long term needs or to address their barriers to participation. It includes those whose entry to opportunities will have been planned through the transition planning process and take account of the strengths, abilities, wishes and needs of the young person as well as identification of relevant support strategies which may be required. In addition, it includes individuals who are facing barriers to participation and are participating in “structured” support for the removal of barriers prior to concentrating on employability.

Note: Within the context of Opportunities for All, all participation is positive; therefore the Personal Skills Development (Social & Health) are regarding as participating whereas traditionally this participation is reported as unemployed not seeking category within school leaver destination statistics.

Voluntary Work

Undertaking voluntary work/volunteering, this will involve a young person giving of his/her time and energy through a third party. It will benefit both the young person and others, including individuals, groups and organisations, communities, the environment and society at large. Some volunteering may include a financial allowance. Work experience that is not organised via a formal training programme and un-paid work would also be recorded here.

The Annual Participation Measure cohort is those aged between 16 and 19 on 31st March for the period of interest. To be included in the annual participation measure an individual must have status data covering the whole period of interest April –  March. Therefore, records created mid-year without a full status history for the year have been excluded from the measure.

 

Coverage: the number of individuals reported within the annual participation measure represents approximately 90% of the 16-19 year olds population having a record within the shared dataset.  Hence the measure does not report on the entire population because the shared dataset does not hold records of those:

  • Attending independent schools or being home schooled

  • Self-funding at University

  • Living in Scotland but with no record of publicly funded schooling or post school education in Scotland and not registered with SDS.

BASELINE AND PAST TRENDS:

The first publication of the participation measure was in August 2015 and was based on an individual’s status on a single day (snapshot methodology).  The second publication in August 2016 introduced the new annual participation reporting methodology where the headline participation status is based on the classification with the highest number of days over the year.  The indicator is based on the annual participation measure methodology.

Year

Percentage

2015/16

90.4%
2016/17

91.1%

CRITERIA FOR RECENT CHANGE ARROW:

This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening. Changes resulting from the improved recording of unknown destinations were also taken into account in this evaluation.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

FUTURE ISSUES OR REVIEWS:

SDS and SG continue to work with HMRC to obtain employment related data made possible by provisions in the Digital Economy (Act) 2017.  This key development in information sharing will help improve service delivery and reduce the number of unconfirmed statuses in the measure by identifying the employment status of some of these individuals.

ASSOCIATED TARGET:

No associated target.