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Minister Urges School Leavers to Choose College

A Scottish Government Minister today urged tens of thousands of school leavers to consider colleges as a first-choice destination.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, made the call as tens of thousands of Scottish pupils this week received the results of their SQA exams.

Mr Hepburn said: “Scotland’s colleges offer incredible opportunities for young people looking to acquire the new skills needed for today’s workforce. Other students might be looking to improve their results and then move on to a higher level of study in college or onto university.

Colleges across the country also offer outstanding training for increasing numbers of apprentices.

“With exam results out today, Scotland’s colleges provide world-class learning for everyone and I hope every school leaver considers them as a first-choice destination.”

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, added: “This can be both an exciting and daunting period for young people, and the impact of the pandemic has been keenly felt by hundreds of thousands of teenagers.

“For some the key will be acquiring skills for a job that brings them future fulfilment and financial security. For others it’s about improving on those school results to allow a move into higher levels of study in college or onto university. And for others it’s important to start earning now while ensuring they acquire the competencies required within the modern workplace.

“Scotland’s 26 colleges can deliver answers for all of those young people within their local communities. The skills provided ensure college graduates have the fit-for-purpose competencies employers’ demand. Alternatively, almost 12,000 apprentices are learning while earning every year. And thousands of other people are taking advantage of part-time or evening classes to improve their skills while working full-time.

“An incredible 96% of the learning provided leads to recognised qualifications, which in turn means improved employment and earnings opportunities. So, with employers crying out for skilled workers, colleges are increasingly relevant destinations for school leavers, and I encourage all of them to look at what life-changing courses are on offer.”


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