In the past, the only career path worth bragging about was to enter a prestigious educational institution, learn new profession via several years of academic learning and then graduate with a fully fledged degree – ready to tackle a career head on. As anyone familiar with both today’s economic and employment market knows, this straightforward path towards employment has since evolved. Higher education is costly and places are limited. There are often hundreds of graduates applying for a position – none with experience required. Academic knowledge alone is no longer enough to have a competitive edge.
The rest of the world has realised this, and figures on school leavers are starting to reflect the above trend. Scotland now boasts figures of having 92.3% of school leavers in work, training or education. According to Angela Constance (who is the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in Scotland), “In just a few weeks I have seen a number of good examples of the work being done in our schools. The task is now to redouble our efforts to accelerate improvements in attainment and ensure that all young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background. We are undertaking a range of actions to raise attainment across the board, including investing an additional £1.5 million to help reduce barriers to learning experienced by pupils from disadvantaged areas. We must do all we can within the powers and resources we have to narrow the gap and drive up standards at all levels.”
It is obvious that a concerted effort needs to be made locally to meet school leavers at their level. Once avenue that can be taken is to undertake vocational training, such as that provided by McCarthy Training Academy!