Working OUT; A Good Job by the Careers Service Helps School-Leavers Move into Work or Higher Education

Article excerpt

It's been a good year for Edinburgh and Lothians school-leavers - and that's official.

Careers service Career Development Edinburgh and Lothians (CDEL) carried out 13,000 interviews with school pupils last year and agreed plans of action with the youngsters to help them get their first foot on the career ladder.

And the 99 per cent satisfaction rate among pupils with the advice they received is an unambiguous vote of confidence in the careers service.

Unemployment among school-leavers within the CDEL catchment area remained at a record low of four per cent, partly due to the 44 per cent of pupils going to college or university.

To put this in context, that figure has doubled in the last decade, with almost half of the school population now taking up opportunities to become more highly trained and to stay longer in formal education.

Education is not everything, of course, and the CDEL annual report shows that well over 5000 pupils were found work placements during the last year to gain experience of working in office, shop and workshop environments.

This not only strengthens the CV, but can help undecided youngsters make up their mind if a particular job is what they imagined it would be.

Depending on their experience, college may seem a more - or less - attractive option. A big part of CDEL's work is also to help pupils to rapidly re-think career strategies as a result of exam results being different from those expected.

Some pupils currently sitting prelims will get pleasant surprises in the summer when the brown envelopes drop onto the mat.

But this can cause problems in obtaining last-minute places on courses for which they did not even dare apply. …