This grant, part of the Trust’s recent Education Pathways Programme Award open call, will build collaboration between education and youth work, driving improvements in attendance, engagement, attainment, and achievement for young people across Scotland.

The Robertson Trust’s Programme Awards aim to support work which is bold, innovative and sustainable, with the potential to deliver big change that lasts on poverty and trauma in Scotland.

Marielle Curran, Youth Work and Schools Manager for YouthLink Scotland, talks about the importance of this initiative:

“Every child and young person in Scotland should have what they need to thrive. This includes securing their right to an education that helps them develop their personality, talents, and abilities to their fullest potential.

“Our vision for education is that all young people in Scotland feel safe, respected, and included, with equitable access to a broad range of experiences and pathways. Youth work is integral to this vision, providing essential learning experiences and support for young people, helping them explore, discover, and achieve.”

The funding will enable YouthLink Scotland to work towards its ambitious goal of integrating youth work into every young person’s learning journey through the #EducationNeedsYouthWork project. This project aims to improve practice and partnerships, give young people voice, and influence policy.

Project Manager Gill Gracie explains:

“This project will improve the understanding and recognition of youth work’s value in narrowing the Scottish attainment gap. By gathering collective evidence of impact, we can influence investment and funding decisions. We will also enhance practice and partnerships, building confidence and capacity across the youth work sector to use the National Youth Work Outcomes and Skills framework as a common language for measuring the positive impact of youth work.”

Young people will be at the heart of the project, shaping a national impact dashboard to demonstrate the skills they develop through various learning experiences. They will also lead a national campaign to showcase the impact of youth work in education.

YouthLink Scotland Chief Executive Tim Frew commented:

“As the national agency for youth work, we are committed to supporting the sector in improving outcomes and life chances for Scotland’s young people. The creation of a digital solution for data collection will enhance the understanding and value of youth work within Scotland’s learning system. This initiative aligns with the changes recommended through education reform, supporting a culture of partnership with young people at the heart of it.”

Further updates on the project will be provided by YouthLink Scotland as it progresses.