Scottish Government Learner Journey Review

The Scottish Government established the 15-24 Learner Journey Review in 2016 to better understand the journeys made by young people from the senior years of school to employment, including through further and higher education, vocational training and apprenticeships.

SQW, working in partnership with Young Scot, explored young people's experiences of education and training to inform the review. There were four main stages involved in the research:

  • Document review – of existing data, evidence and research pertaining to young people's experience of the education and learning system in Scotland.
  • Establishment of Insights Panel – a panel of 12 young people aged between 17 and 23 was set up by Young Scot to co-design the research with SQW and provide input and guidance throughout.
  • Workshops –14 three-hour workshops were delivered between March and April 2017, engaging 145 young people, aged 15-24, from across Scotland.
  • Insights Lab – a one-day engagement event was held in May 2017 and was attended by 45 young people and 11 policy officials from the Scottish Government.

The research was qualitative in nature, aimed at gaining in-depth insights into young people's experiences of the education and training system in Scotland. The final report is available to download here.

The study formed a core part of the evidence base used to inform the Learner Journey Review, which was published by the Scottish Government in May 2018. It contained 17 recommendations aimed at improving the learner journey for all young people in Scotland, focussing on the insights obtained during the research; better advice and guidance, more vocational and work-based learning opportunities and better alignment of the various elements of the education and skills system. The final report of the review is available to download here.

The Scottish Government brought together key stakeholders from across the education and skills sector in May 2018 to discuss the recommendations in the review and how these will be implemented. The event was attended by Shirley-Ann Somerville MSP and Jamie Hepburn MSP, as well as by SQW and Young Scot. Again, young people played a central role on the day, delivering a keynote speech and introducing each of the workshop sessions. For further information, please contact Marian Morris at SQW.


Members of the Insights Panel with Ministers at the Learner Journey review event held on 23 May 2018. From left to right: Sam Nadeem, Amy Cowan, Shirley-Ann Somerville MSP, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Michael Gowan, Ibrahim Naizam.