Headlines: May 13th, 2005

Young people in Scotland will benefit from plans to partner every secondary with a local college by 2007. This will give pupils a wider choice of study and ensure that the ability of a pupil to learn is not curtailed by the boundaries of their school classroom. The Scottish Executive’s Partnership Agreement includes a commitment to enable 14-16 year olds to develop vocational skills and improve their employment prospects by allowing them to undertake courses in further education colleges as part of the school-based curriculum. The partnerships will offer the choice of pupils going to college or with lecturers coming into school.Partnerships between schools and colleges have already proved that they can meet a growing need and there are around 44,000 school pupils enrolled in colleges. The additional funding of 41.5 million pounds announced today will allow partnerships to be extended country wide.

The Skills for Work courses will be developed by the SQA and will be piloted during 2005-06 and 2006-07 with a view to a national roll-out in August 2007. The subjects for the first pilot year are early education and childcare; construction craft skills; financial services and sport and recreation.

Deputy First Minister and Minister for Lifelong Learning Jim Wallace said: “Scotland’s continued economic growth depends on today’s young people acquiring the skills they need for life and work. The Executive is determined to help them do this in the most appropriate way – whether it be in school, in college or university or in the workplace.”