How does LifeSkills support careers education in Scotland?
Help your students get ready for the world of work by discovering how LifeSkills aligns with both the Curriculum for Excellence and the Developing the Young Workforce strategy.
LifeSkills can support your careers provision, your work with ASN learners and your development of a whole school/college approach to building skills.
Explore the tabs below to see how our resources can be embedded into your employability work, supporting you to help young people develop the right skills and knowledge for the workplace.
What’s the national approach to careers education and skills development in Scotland?
The Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) strategy sets national priorities for employability and enterprise – to expand choices for young people in schools and colleges, and increase opportunities for employment.
The strategy brings together schools, colleges, training providers and employers to develop pathways for young people to help them access current and future work opportunities. This includes:
- Creating new work-based learning options
- Enabling young people to learn in a range of settings in their Senior Phase of school
- Embedding employer engagement in education
- Offering careers advice at an earlier point in school
- Introducing new standards for career education and work placements
The Career Education Standard (3-18)
As part of its strategy, the Government has developed the Career Education Standard to improve the quality and consistency of learning about work and careers, and enable young people to make informed decisions about future pathways.
The standard recognises the journeys children and young people make as they learn about the world of work from the early years to the Senior Phase. It sets out what children and young people should learn and what they can expect parents, carers, teachers, employers and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to do to support their learning.
How does LifeSkills align with recent developments in education?
LifeSkills’ focus on developing core transferable skills is broadly aligned with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), which focuses on four ‘fundamental capacities’:
- Successful learners
- Confident individuals
- Responsible citizens
- Effective contributors
In particular, LifeSkills supports the aims of Building the Curriculum 4 (BTC4), which emphasises the importance of embedding the skills needed for life and work, as well as learning, and introduces the idea of Career Management Skills (CMS). It states that: “Career management skills should be set within establishment’s wider approach to learning, skills development and personal development.”
The Young Person Guarantee No One Left Behind report (2020) highlighted the need for a role in schools to be established to manage this work. These newly established DYW regional school co-ordinators may find LifeSkills provides useful content for the range of practitioners they support.
How does LifeSkills help students develop core transferable skills?
LifeSkills provides a wide range of lessons, tools, content and resources that help students build the core transferable skills they need to succeed in the world of work:
These skills align with the focus areas identified in the CfE to prepare young people with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century:
- Internet safety
- Preparation for employment
- Steps to work
- Volunteering skills
LifeSkills also supports young people prepare for work by raising their awareness of the skills they are learning in education and how they can be useful in a work context. This in turn helps them articulate and promote their skills when applying for jobs across different sectors.
With the changing world of work and the impact of recent events on the labour market, it’s important for students to understand the skills employers are now looking for and how these have changed – to find out more take a look at our Jobs of the future guide. You can also learn more about employment trends from the bank of research we have collated from organisations across the sector here.
What key education frameworks and qualifications can LifeSkills support?
We have mapped LifeSkills content to the national curriculum in Scotland to enable educators to use the resources across subject areas. Look at our Content curriculum guide to find lesson materials and independent learning resources for students that support your curriculum delivery.
LifeSkills can also support learners to achieve a range of Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) awards, particularly relevant at the Senior Phase, such as:
- Wellbeing Awards
- SCQF level 3 & 4 Employability
- Personal Development Awards
- Personal Finance Award at SCQF level 4 & 5
- Work experience awards at SCQF level 4 & 5
To find content relevant to these topic areas, go to the LifeSkills Lesson plans page and use the ‘category’ filter options.
LifeSkills can also help you plan activities related to the frameworks and initiatives listed below (use the search function on the website to find relevant resources):
- Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
- My World of Work
- The Employability Fund (EF)
- Career Information, Advice and Guidance framework
- The Career Management Skills Framework
- Scotland’s Career Strategy Moving Forward
How can LifeSkills support my school/college’s careers provision?
LifeSkills can support Senior Leadership teams and classroom teachers to meet the requirements of the Career Education Standard. In particular, the resources can help you meet these expectations outlined in the Standard:
- Engage children and young people in meaningful discussion about their skills development and assist them in profiling, to support their career journeys (try the Exploring personal strengths for employment lesson)
- Through professional learning and having access to up-to-date resources, develop and maintain an awareness of the opportunities in the labour market and the attributes and skills needed to take advantage of them (try the Exploring job sectors and preparing for work short activity)
- Relate relevant learning experiences and skills development to the labour market and employment opportunities including entrepreneurship and self-employment (try the Steps to starting a business lesson and student handbook)
- Develop children and young people’s understanding of the responsibilities and duties placed on employees and employers (try the Identifying workplace behaviours and values lesson)
To achieve the standard teachers/practitioners will:
- Work with a range of partners including parents/carers, employers and other practitioners to design and deliver an appropriate personalised curriculum that takes account of the individual needs of children and young people; and genuinely equips them for learning, life and work in all settings including colleges and other learning providers
- Explore our Families hub for support with engaging parents
- Signpost colleagues to our content specifically aimed at supporting students with Additional Support Needs or those with experience of the care system by using the filters on the Lesson plans page
How does LifeSkills support students with diverse needs?
LifeSkills offers adapted resources for students with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and those in care who are preparing for their post-school transition.
This includes a core set of lessons adapted for young people aged 14+ with ASN and a navigation guide to explain how the content has been adapted.
We’ve also created a suite of financial education resources for young people leaving care to help them prepare for independent living. You can find these by selecting the ‘care leavers’ filter option on the LifeSkills Lesson plans page.
LifeSkills offers content specially designed for supporting adult learners, including those at risk of becoming unemployed. You may also find some of the resources for young people are useful in working with adults – check out this guide to supporting adult learners.
How can you use LifeSkills to build inclusivity in the classroom?
Teaching diversity and inclusion is important as it helps students recognise and celebrate what makes us different, to benefit themselves and their future workplaces. LifeSkills has developed a suite of diversity resources to support students to develop their understanding of diversity and inclusion, including how this will help them succeed in the world of work.
Watch our online lesson film around racial equality in the workplace or listen to five short audio case studies exploring different topics around gender, LGBTQ+, culture, age and disability.
What do educators in Scotland say they value about LifeSkills?
“Following the success of our initial LifeSkills sessions, we worked to ensure that all students from S1-S6 access the programme, in particular our school leavers, to help develop their communication and interview skills.”
Deputy Headteacher, secondary school, Scotland
“Lots of variety in learning, easy to use, current and topical especially during COVID-19 lockdowns.”
Tutor, FE College, Scotland
How can LifeSkills be delivered and used alongside other careers resources?
LifeSkills complements the growing digital offering to schools and can be used alongside the tools and resources in Market Place and E-DYW. They also align with existing Education Scotland and Developing the Young Workforce resources, such as the Work Related Inspiration and Work Related Learning workshops on preparing for work experience programmes.
LifeSkills can also help teachers and practitioners fill any gaps they identify when using the Careers Education Standard Suite of Learning Resources to review their provision, either individually or as part of staff CPD.
Educators can use the content in lessons, form periods, assemblies and careers days. You can also direct young people to use LifeSkills independently for homework tasks, holiday projects or as part of transition preparation.
Careers Advisers can use the resources in independent guidance sessions, with tools such as the Wheel of Strengths acting as effective conversation starters.
LifeSkills also has materials to support parents and carers to help their children develop employability skills, knowledge and aspirations, via the Families hub.
Where can I find out more?
- Go to the Explore more section on our website to discover how to start building LifeSkills content into your careers programme
- Use our Content curriculum guide to see how you can use LifeSkills resources as part of your lessons across the curriculum
- Start building your students core transferable skills with our seven core skills lessons
- Learn how to get recognition for your school or college’s skills programme with the LifeSkills Award
To find out more about how LifeSkills supports the curriculum across other parts of the UK select another nation: