The number of school leavers opting for higher or further education in Scotland has reached a record high of 72 per cent, latest statistics reveal.
However, the overall proportion of school leavers going into “positive destinations” fell from 95 per cent to 93 per cent over the same period.
Pandemic affecting employment opportunities
Education Secretary John Swinney said the fall in “positive destinations” was due to employment opportunities being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the statistics also revealing a decrease in the number of young people entering the workforce.
Positive destinations after education can include employment, training opportunities, or further study.
The chief statistician’s figures for higher education increased from 68 per cent in 2019, to 72 per cent in 2020.
Mr Swinney said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, it is heartening to see a continued high proportion of our pupils in positive destinations after leaving school, with a record percentage continuing in further and higher education.
“This year’s statistics clearly highlight the impact of the pandemic on young people, with a sizeable decrease in those entering employment reflecting the limited opportunities in the labour market.
“We are providing direct support to those affected through the Young Person’s Guarantee which gives every 16-24 year old a job, placement, training or volunteering opportunity.”