1 May 2013
Scottish business is backing a new employer assessed work-based
qualification to help young people prove they are ready for
of Work Readiness has been developed in partnership with the
business community and aims to give unemployed young people the
chance to develop the skills essential for holding down a
Piloted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in a number of areas,
the certificate features 190 hours of real life work experience,
and is unique in that it will only be awarded following employer
Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance said: "The latest
employment figures paint an improving picture for Scotland's young
people with more in work and less claiming unemployment. However,
we are all too aware, that in times of economic difficulty, it is
younger people, unable to get a job because they lack experience
and can't build up the skills they need, who suffer the most.
"The Certificate of Work Readiness seeks to change all that. It
includes a unique employer-assessed work experience placement,
providing a meaningful qualification and a credible standard that
employers can recognise and trust. Even if that employer doesn't
have a permanent job available, the young person can leave with
concrete evidence of their employability which they can use when
applying for jobs.
"I'm confident that the certificate will become an integral part
of our unique commitment of an offer of a place in education and
training for 16 to 19-year-olds through Opportunities for All and
record annual targets for Modern Apprenticeships."
Maggie Morrison, SDS board member and AGM HP Scotland, Enterprise
Services, added: "The Certificate will make it so much easier for
companies to offer structured work experience and, ultimately,
permanent jobs. Even if a placement does not lead to full-time
work, anyone able to add this qualification to their CV will have
tangible, credible evidence of their work readiness that a
potential employer can trust.
"It has been an age old complaint of the business community that
those starting out on the first rung of the career ladder, no
matter their academic ability, often do not have the practical
know-how to succeed from day one. This Certificate is going to go
further than anything before it in eliminating that doubt."
Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, said: "This is a significant
milestone in the journey towards creating a broad range of
qualifications which prepare young people in an effective way for
the modern world of work. The work experience available through the
course is assessed by employers and gives young people the
opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their performance,
enabling them to take what they've learned forward into future job
The certificate, approved by Scottish Qualifications Authority
(SQA), already has the backing of industries, employer bodies such
as the Federation of Small Businesses and companies large and small
across Scotland, including the likes of Diageo, Scottish Power and
Selex ES. They are confident it will help to answer the age-old
complaint that there is no way of knowing if a young, untested
worker is fit for their workplace.
Targeted at 16 to 19-year-olds who have a positive "can do"
attitude, it will take an average of 10-12 weeks, including 190
hourswork experience, with training allowances and Educational
Maintenance Allowances available.
Companies and organisations endorsing the Certificate of Work
Case studies are available on request.
For more information visit www.ourskillsforce.co.uk. Twitter: #certifiedready
Stuart Lewis (Scottish Government): 0131 244 2530 / 07796
Frances Ridge (Skills Development Scotland): 0141 285 6131 / 07798
Government press release.