Labour’s plan to boost school leaver opportunities



We want to improve opportunities for Scotland’s young people.
They must be equipped with the skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
That’s why Labour is the only party opposed to Tory and SNP austerity. We would invest in Scotland’s education system.



But we can only design policies to improve outcomes for young people once they’ve left school if they are based on better quality information.
That’s why we are today proposing an overhaul of the way that outcomes for 16-to-19 year olds are measured.
The Scottish Government’s current ‘positive destination’ criteria is no longer fit for purpose.
For example, the current methodology used by the SNP considers a school leaver who ends up on a zero-hours contract to be in a ‘positive destination’.
There’s nothing positive about the rise in zero-hours contracts, yet that’s how they are classified by the SNP.
The methodology also takes no account of insecure or temporary employment, or retention in education courses, because it fails to track the progress, or otherwise, of youngsters over a number of years - despite the current volatility of the employment market.
The number of people in insecure work in Scotland has increased by nearly a third since 2011 under the SNP.

So here’s what we would do differently:

• Reintroduce the “longitudinal” approach of the previous Labour/LibDem Scottish Executive’s Scottish School Leavers Survey, scrapped by the SNP, which tracked the progress of youngsters over several years.
• Remove zero hour contracts as a ‘positive destination’ for youngsters.
• Widen the methodology to include all 16-to-19 year olds.

A UK Labour government would ban zero hour contracts.


And we would introduce a £10-an-hour Real Living Wage.



If SNP ministers are serious about improving life chances for the next generation, they have to get serious about facing up to how well, or how badly, their policies are working.
It’s time for a major overhaul. SNP ministers have been too distracted to focus on the day job and too ready to believe their own ‘spin’, so Labour is doing their job for them and putting forward a proposal that would transform the way we measure success.

The measures would tie in with our industrial strategy, unveiled earlier this summer.
We would:

• Invest in education to address skills shortages - particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and coding - so our young people have the skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
• Commit to full employment with a focus on the industries and jobs of the future - including decommissioning and renewables, alongside the FinTech [Financial Technology] sector.
• Ensure public procurement doesn’t reward companies and organisations that engage in blacklisting, operate zero-hours contracts, pay below Living Wage levels and other unfair employment practices.

You can read more about our industrial strategy here:


Our proposals are part of our summer campaign, For The Many. As well as our industrial strategy, we have also launched a commission to address the staffing crisis in our NHS and a five-point plan to tackle poverty. Read more about our campaign here