Number of Edinburgh school leavers gaining employment on the up

Stephen Ramsay pictured at 'DSL Autos. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Stephen Ramsay pictured at 'DSL Autos. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THE number of school leavers in the Capital moving into work, further education or training has soared to a record high.

Around 93 per cent are finding success – putting Edinburgh first among Scotland’s cities and well above the national average.

The jump will bring about a step-change in youngsters’ confidence and self-esteem, city leaders have predicted. Fresh figures show more school leavers are getting jobs compared with September 2013, with more than one in four in employment. Just over 40 per cent are securing and holding on to places at university, while over a quarter successfully opt for further education.

School leavers have welcomed the rise and said career opportunities had become more plentiful.

Stephen Ramsay, a modern apprentice at DSL Autos, said: “When I was at Craigroyston High School I was involved in a Formula 1 project and I really enjoyed it.

“My career adviser helped me with an interview for 
Edinburgh College and I am now a modern apprentice doing a four-year course in Automotive Paint Refinishing.

“As soon as I left school I wanted to get involved in this trade and I want to work in this field until I retire.”

New analysis shows the majority of schools in Edinburgh have improved their performance since September 2013.

The largest recorded increase was at Craigroyston Community High, where the number of youngsters moving into “positive destinations” was up 13.1 per cent.

Currie also performed well, with its figure sitting at 97.9 per cent, while Firrhill and Gracemount were up 6.8 per cent.

Much of the rise has been attributed to local firms recruiting young people, with 350 opportunities offered since April this year.

Teaching leaders have welcomed improving trends across Edinburgh and Scotland, but said too many pupils were being held back by social inequality.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary at the Educational Institute of Scotland, the country’s largest teaching union, said: “Poverty continues to have a negative impact on the education and life chances of too many young people across Scotland, and the attainment gap between Scotland’s most and least deprived pupils continues to be a huge challenge that society must tackle.”

City leaders said the rise was testament to the success of the Edinburgh Guarantee, which aims to ensure every youngster leaves school with the choice of a job, training or further education opportunity.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “It is really encouraging that there has been such an improvement in the figures this year as moving on to make a new start in life is the boost young people really need to raise their self-esteem at this critical point in their lives.”