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Aiden - a different way of learning

Aiden - a different way of learning Young People

"School wasn't the best for me".
Aiden shares his experience of learning post-school and how youth awards can help develop skills for employment, add to the CV and provide a good talking point in interviews.
"I had no idea there were so many awards you could get outside school..... Awards can give you the chance to get the experience....that employers look for."
"My 100 hours Saltire Award will be really helpful to me on my CV....Schools should incorporate more awards like these to give you more opportunities."

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An employers view on DYW, youth awards and skills for work

An employers view on DYW, youth awards and skills for work Employers

Sandy Begbie, Global Integration Director at Standard Life Aberdeen plc and Chair of DYW Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian, outlines why it is important for employers to recognise and value the employability skills developed through youth award programmes.

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Angus - #MyLearnerJourney

Angus - #MyLearnerJourney Young People

Left school with few qualifications. Joined a heritage related emplolyment training programme - Canal College®. The programme recognises achievement with the Heritage Hero Award, John Muir Award, Saltire Award; SQA Level 2 Certificate in Cultural Heritage; SQA Level 5 Unit on Working Safely. Secured a Heritage Lottery funded bursary placement with Scottish Canals through Historic Scotland, an apprenticeship and subsequent employment as a stonemason. 

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Bethan - Youth Awards open to all

Bethan - Youth Awards open to all Young People

Bethan outlines how she has benefitted from participation in the awards programme of Girlguiding. Having gained a Girlguiding Young Leader Qualification, she is now a Girlguiding volunteer, passing on her learning to other girls and young women. The skills acquired through her awards are equipping Bethan for her future.

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Carers Trust Scotland and the Participative Democracy Certificate

Carers Trust Scotland and the Participative Democracy Certificate Volunteers, Young People

Rccognising Achievement: Why Carers Trust Scotland is using the PDC - Nicola Bell, Youth Engagement Officer 

For young carers taking part in Carers Trust Scotland activities, the PDC gives them formal recognition for the incredible commitment and hard work they demonstrate through volunteering with us. It is a nice way to give back to the young people and formally reward their work.

For us as an organisation, we can support young people through the process and offer this award as an addition to our voluntary opportunities. We are also able to report back to our funders on the development of young people; the PDC is a great addition to our monitoring and evaluation process.

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D of E - Shawlands Academy

D of E - Shawlands Academy Schools

Shawlands Academy pupils share their experience and impact of achieving the Duke of Edinburgh's Award

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council Employers

Dumfries and Galloway Council are using SQA's employability award to help young people enter the workplace.

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Emmie - My Youth Award Journey

Emmie - My Youth Award Journey Young People

Emmie, a Trustee of Youth Scotland and a former MSYP, relates how completing a Youth Achievement Award led to a change of direction in learning and career.

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Giving young people’s achievements recognition by others

Giving young people’s achievements recognition by others Youth Work

Willy Barr, Manger of Citadel Youth Centre in Edinburgh, tells us why it is important for youth workers to be aware of youth awards and the opportunities they provide for attainment and recognition of achievement.

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Graeme Young People

The Queen’s Scout Award is the top Youth Award in Scouting. The award recognises leadership and teamwork and requires high standards of discipline and motivation. Scouts aged 16-25 must complete a number of achievements before they turn 25 in order to achieve the award.

Scouts must complete five challenges or obtain a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which include volunteering in the community for 12 months, learning and developing a new skill, taking up a new physical activity, undertake a 3-night expedition in wild country and participate in a 5-day residential.  Additionally, Scouts must complete 18 nights away, 12 of which must be camping and activities that improve the environment, help them to understand the wider world and celebrate the values of Scouting.

Last year Graeme Galloway achieved his Queen’s Scout Award. Graeme took part in a 4-day/ 3-night expedition in Iceland. They hiked in the northern part of the country and also took part in whale watching and they got to relax in the thermal pools after long days hiking.

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Impact of Youth Achievement Award

Impact of Youth Achievement Award

Darren shares his Youth Achievement Award journey, from Bronze to Silver, and the difference it has made to him.

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Joe Young People

Joe was referred by his school to the Pupil Support Service in Fife due to his refusal to follow basic school rules. He had a history of multiple exclusions and was verbally abusive to staff, including threats of physical violence.

The Pupil Support Service offered Joe the opportunity to participate in a Bronze level Youth Achievement Award. The offer was part of a package of experiences which were designed to help re-engage Joe with education in its broadest sense and allow him to experience success through gaining a recognised qualification.

The flexible nature of the Youth Achievement Award made it very accessible for Joe; he was able to plan his involvement and take responsibility for every aspect of his learning.

For his Award, Joe set himself 4 personal Challenges that were based on his interests:

  • To take part in a range of arts and craft activities
  • To develop my practical skills in the kitchen
  • To create a nursery garden for children to use
  • To help build and set up a school allotment

Joe initially presented in a very confrontational manner however, with some intense work and nurture from staff, he began to engage with his Challenges and work towards completing his Award.

Staff reported that after only a short period of time, it was very evident that Joe was becoming much more confident and positive around all aspects of his education.

They could also see an improvement in other areas of the curriculum as the positive experience of participating in the Youth Achievement Awards transferred into Joe’s relationships with staff, which in turn improved work rate and attitude in other subject areas.

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Lauren Young People

Lauren, 18, is working on her leadership qualification to become a Guide Leader with the 295thGlasgow Guide Unit. She’s also a member of Girlguiding Glasgow’s Croftfoot Senior Section.

Her leadership qualification is part of working towards her prestigious Queen’s Guide qualification, the pinnacle of achievement for girls in The Senior Section. Each participant must complete a variety of challenges within three years.

But it’s not all hard work and no play!

For the exploratory element, me and my friends organised a Guide camp around the theme of 'Big Fat Gypsy Dragon Den Wedding'. The Guides had to make dresses out of newspaper and toilet rolls and pitch their wedding ideas to us. We wore suits like the dragons to listen to their presentations – the winning group was some older Guides who were so funny. 

We also went to London earlier this year as part of the award, and visited all the locations on the Monopoly Board which took ages! While we were there, we got to be part of the service team for the Queen's Garden Party which involved tasks like opening car doors for guests. I also got to meet the Queen, she was so cute!

Another project I took on as part of my Queens Guide was project managing a Glasgow-based wide game for hundreds of Girlguiding Scotland members, which we called 'Wee-G-Opoly'. I was a bit scared at first because the Senior Section team I was working with are all really good friends, so I didn't want to tell them what to do or boss them around! But in the end, we all worked so well together.

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Learner journeys blending youth awards and the traditional curriculum

Learner journeys blending youth awards and the traditional curriculum Schools

Mike Irving, Head Teacher of Leith Academy, explains how his school harnesses youth awards to support individual learner journeys

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Parents/Carers should encourage take up of youth awards

Parents/Carers should encourage take up of youth awards Parents

Eileen Prior, Executive Director of Connect (formerly Scottish Parent Teachers Council) encourages take-up of youth awards and reminds us that wider achievement is an important part of Curriculum for Excellence.

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PDC - Looking Forward Not Back

PDC - Looking Forward Not Back Awards Network Members, Schools

Twenty-eight young people were trained and supported in 5 communities to conduct research on the issue of sectarianism. To recognise the contribution of their research, the young people were provided with the opportunity to work towards the Participative Democracy Certificate, which is worth 2 credits at SCQF level 5. Through this award the young people develop research skills, group work skills, leadership skills, and decision-making approaches. This provided a structure for learning on sectarianism, including developing research questions, designing research methods, conducting research, analysing data and presenting findings in the community. 

In total 18 young people achieved the PDC.  For many of the young people the PDC was seen as supplementing their formal education and being "good for our CV" (Young Person).  It was also a means of encouraging young people to fully engage in the project and keep coming back week after week over the course of approximately 9 months.

"The P.D.C. award [is] really important to them and played a major role in encouraging them to attend" (Youth Worker)

For one of the groups the impact was even greater, the young people had disengaged from school and as such the PDC was one of the first qualifications they would achieve. For this group the youth workers integrated the PDC into a Links to Life programme, which is an alternative programme of learning to formal education. 

Part of undergoing this award was for the young people to take ownership of the research, engage with their communities on the issue of sectarianism and then share what they have learned through their research. 

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Robbie - youth awards changed my career

Robbie - youth awards changed my career Young People

Robbie has progressed through Boys' Brigade from youth to volunteer leader and says youth awards are as important as academic qualifications. Learn how his BB Queen's Badge and Duke of Edinburgh Award journey has influenced his career choice.

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Scouts Scotland’s Young Leaders’ Scheme

Scouts Scotland’s Young Leaders’ Scheme Young People, Youth Work

The Young Leaders' Scheme is just one of the exciting programme elements of being an Explorer Scout. All leaders in the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout Section who are between the ages of 14 and 18 are considered to be Young Leaders. They are Explorer Scouts who choose to devote a large proportion of their time in Scouting to service in another section. The Young Leaders' Scheme helps Explorer Scouts to develop and grow as individuals. They benefit from personal impacts such as greater employability and self-confidence.  It allows them to make a valuable contribution to their community and give service to others. The scheme also helps them fulfil the service elements of other awards such as Chief Scout’s Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Young Leaders from all over Scotland are supported to attend training events with other Young Leaders and to complete missions, which let them put what they have learned into practice. These training events take young people out of their comfort zones, often in unfamiliar settings, to learn how to be compassionate and responsible leaders. 

In this case study, we caught up with three Young Leaders; Zoe, Timmy and Richard who were attending a training event at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead where they reflected on their experiences as Young Leaders, the skills and confidence they have gained as a result of their increased responsibility and their hopes for the training event.

Scouts’ Young Leaders develop confidence and other transferable skills. These include understanding different leadership styles, how to communicate effectively and consider accessibility when planning activities, so that young people with different abilities, needs and interests can take part. They gain experience of planning and delivery, to embed this learning in practice.

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Sports Leaders UK

Sports Leaders UK Awards Network Members, Schools

Sports Leaders UK is an Awarding Organisation that creates leadership skills for life. Our vocational awards and qualifications aim to equip young people with employability skills by improving motivation, self-esteem, communication, organisation, team work and confidence. Leadership and volunteering is a vital part of all of our courses and allows young people to practice and build their skills in order to ‘Give More and Become More’, thus improving their employability and CV’s.

Through awards and qualifications, we create a fun and dynamic focus, with essential health, employment and social benefits. Recent research showed that learners on our courses reported that their participation in Sports Leaders UK qualifications and awards led to positive personal outcomes across a range of ideas. For example:

  • 92% of sports leaders said they were more confident about speaking in front of a group
  • 96% of sports leaders felt they had developed confidence in leading a group.
  • 99% of sports leaders felt they have improved their communication skills
  • 74% of sports leaders felt more positive about life
  • 80% of sports leaders felt inspired to get other people more active
  • 80% of sports leaders felt more likely to help out in their community
  • 78% of sports leaders felt the skills they had gained could be used in the workplace

St Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow, deliver a pathway of sports leadership from S1 – S6. They deliver the qualifications to help contribute to Significant Aspects of Learning. The courses also inspire pupils to get involved in the life of their school and take more responsibility in making their school and community a successful place to learn and have fun.

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Stephanie’s journey of discovery with Outward Bound Trust

Stephanie’s journey of discovery with Outward Bound Trust Awards Network Members, Employers, Schools, Young People, Youth Work

"I'm Stephanie and I'm from Glasgow."

Stephanie is a carer for her housebound Mum. Introduced to Outward Bound Trust by her Carer Centre's youth work programme, she undertook the demanding and challenging Skills for Life Award.

Reflecting on her experience of this residential programme, Stephanie said: "I changed more in 19 days than over the course of my 18 years....I never thought that someone could develop and grow as quickly as on one of these courses....It wasn't until I took a step back that I realised what I'd achieved and what had changed."

Commenting on the benefits of youth award programmes such as the Skills for Life Award, Stephanie remarks: "They teach you so many life lessons that you can apply to everyday life"

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Volunteering develops vital work skills

Volunteering develops vital work skills Employers

CBI Scotland Director, Tracy Black, outlines why skills acquired through volunteering - a key component of youth awards - are highly prized by employers.

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What I’ve learned through the Boys’ Brigade awards journey

What I’ve learned through the Boys’ Brigade awards journey Awards Network Members, Parents, Young People, Youth Work

Members of the Boys' Brigade in Scotland share their stories of skills development and personal achievement from progressing through the Boys' Brigade award programme, from the youngest age sections to young adult leaders

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