The final report from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce was published last week and I recently took time out to read it. The report is called Education Working For All [PDF], was commissioned by the Scottish Goverment, and was written by Sir Ian Wood.
The background to the report is the (almost) one in five young people who are unemployed in Scotland - three times higher than the adult unemployment rate. The report focuses on the majority of young people who don't go to university and into the professions.
It has 39 specific recommendations but its essence is that Scotland must raise the status of vocational education. This will involve not only a change in perception by "parents, teachers, lecturers, employers and the media" but also greater priority to vocational pathways in schools. Among the recommendations (in fact, the first recommendation) is that the senior phase in schools should deliver vocational qualifications alongside academic qualifications. It provides examples of schools offering National and Higher National Certificates in partnership with regional colleges.
Computing is one of the subjects already pretty popular in schools. Awards such as the NPA in Computer Games Development are taken by thousands of pupils alongside more traditional courses. But there is more we could do. The idea of school pupils undertaking and HNC Computing is exciting and one that I hope to progress in the coming months.
Contact Hilary for more information about vocational Computing qualifications or download the portfolio diagram.