Increase in 16 -19 years olds in education, training or employment.
Figures published today show that 90 per cent of Scotland's young people aged 16 to 19 are in education, training or employment.
The highest participation rate is amongst 16 year olds at 98.7 per cent with most of them attending school.
The snapshot Participation Measure also shows that there has been a two percentage point increase in the number of young people aged 16 to 19 in employment over the last year.
Speaking ahead of a visit to Alloa Academy to find out more about Careers Services being delivered in the area, Minister for Employability and Training, Mr Hepburn said:
"I welcome these figures, which show that 90 per cent of young people in Scotland are in education, training or employment. It is heartening to see that so many of our young people are taking advantage of the learning and training opportunities available to help them into work and begin their career.
"Later today, I will be visiting a number of sites in Alloa including the local careers centre and Alloa Academy. I will meet with careers advisors, teachers and job centre plus advisors to learn more about how these dedicated professionals help our young people make the most of the choices and chances available to them as they move into adult life. I am particularly keen to find out how they use the Annual Participation Measure information to support young people effectively.
"We want to ensure that our young people have the best possible opportunities in education, employment or training and the best possible start to their careers. Scotland is outperforming the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates, but we want to do even more.
"We are committed to delivering a package of measures in this Parliament to achieve our ambition to reduce youth unemployment from its 2014 level by 40 per cent by 2021. We will continue Opportunities for All, our youth employment strategy and the needs of young people feature in the Labour Market Strategy I launched last week, which sets out how we will put fairness at the heart of our drive to develop a skilled workforce capable of meeting future economic demands.
"In particular, plans to introduce a Jobs Grant, to continue Community Jobs Scotland and to deliver 30,000 apprenticeships, including increasing trainees who are disabled, care experienced or from a BME background, demonstrate our commitment to ensure that not just some of our young people, but all of our young people get the support and opportunities they need to succeed in adult life."
Neville Prentice, Senior Director of Service Development and Delivery at Skills Development Scotland (SDS), said:
"The Participation Measure is an important tool in ensuring that we offer the very best support to Scotland's 16-19-year-olds.
"By combining data from SDS, schools, colleges, Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions, we can accurately report on the activities of 16-19-year-olds and provide guidance where it is needed.
"We will continue working with our public sector partners to ensure young people have every opportunity to progress in education, training and learning and make the best possible start to their working lives."
The annual participation measure statistics are published by Skills Development Scotland and are available here: www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/publications-statistics/statistics/participation-measure
The Participation measure captures the activity of all 16-19 year olds, including those who choose to stay on at school as well as status of young people age 16 to 19 year old who have left school. School leavers destinations statistics report the destination of school leaver in any particular year. In 2014/15, over 52000 young people left school which accounts for just under a quarter of all 16 to 19 year olds.
Moving to measuring participation allows the Scottish Government to formally recognise the wide range of provision and support available from all partners but also allows staying on at school to be recognised as a positive learning choice. It allows monitoring of progression and the sustainability of provision and support over a longer period of time. In doing so it lets partners better understand the learner journey and inform the future design and availability of provision.