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Career Ready in Scotland2022-08-08T08:13:15+00:00
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Career Ready in Scotland

Our vision is that every young person progresses to a positive post-school destination and is able to prosper in the world of work. Every student has potential, yet does not necessarily have access to the networks and opportunities to unlock it.

Student Applications Open

Do you attend a school running the Career Ready programme? Have you been invited by a member of school staff to apply? We’re now accepting applications for the 2022 academic year.


Our programme

Our two-year programme empowers young people in S5/S6 to kick-start their chosen career through a series of authentic workplace experiences and a network of support – the only schools programme in Scotland, with the support of our employers and volunteers, to offer:

“This time last year I had no idea what I wanted to do… and look where I am now! I’m working at the Scottish Government and studying Cyber Security. I love it.”

Niamh, 2019 alumni

Changes to our programme in response to COVID-19. Please note, many of our programme activities will be conducted online until our network of schools and employers are in agreement that it is safe and right to reintroduce our face-to-face experiences.
Our network

“Diageo is delighted to partner with Career Ready across Scotland. Our people have mentored 230+ students and our business has benefitted from their valuable contributions during their internships.”

Ewan Andrew, President Diageo Supply Chain & Procurement

Employers and volunteers

Our growing employer network ensures that, uniquely in Scotland, every student has a mentor and a paid, four-week internship. The range of employers, from many sectors and sizes, provide an amazing network within which lie the opportunities for students to explore. Our paid internships and Virtual Work Experience also count towards the SQA Personal Development Unit: Self and Work.

get involved

Schools and Local Authorities

We work closely with every Local Authority and school to manage our programme. We support students with awareness-raising, application and participation, through to graduating and progressing into next steps on their career path, contributing to The Young Person Guarantee and Developing the Young Workforce.

Local Authorities
Our impact

Strength in numbers

Behind the statistics, students’ experiences are truly transformational. The personal development gained through the support of a mentor and real experience of the world of work can be life-changing.

our impact

“My mentor, Gavin, was a perfect match. I’ve found my way into a career that I love, working for Leidos, and learning more and more about my specialist field every day.”

Erwin, 2019 alumni

“I still meet up with my mentor, Louise from Morgan Stanley. Career ready improved my confidence and skills I didn’t even know I had.”

Ibinabo, 2014 alumni

of students progress onto positive destinations in education or employment
of students said Career Ready raised their career aspirations
of students would recommend the Career Ready programme
of students rated ALL their Skills for Career Success as a strength by the end of the programme
Our skills framework

Skills for Career Success

We measure the impact of our programmes using a set of outcomes designed in partnership with employers and educators.

Students assess their Skills for Career Success at key points, which they reflect upon with their mentors in monthly meetings.

I can react positively to change and see challenges as a way to improve my skill set. 

I do this by:

  • Identifying opportunities to improve my skills
  • Taking the initiative
  • Being open minded and understanding different jobs will exist in the future.

I communicate well and feel confident getting to know new people.

I do this by:

  • Listening effectively 
  • Asking relevant questions
  • Being able to confidently introduce myself to new people and speak about myself

I am able to think of my own ideas and how they relate to the task I am working on.

I do this by:

  • Understanding creativity is about ideas and how we develop them
  • Using my imagination to think of new ideas 
  • Thinking of ways to improve something and explaining why

I can identify careers and understand the entry requirements and skills that are needed.

I do this by:

  • Understanding jobs and how suited I am to any opportunity
  • Preparing for interviews 
  • Maintaining an up to date personal development record

I am responsible for my own behaviour and can organise my time to achieve my goals. 

I do this by:

  • Planning, organising and thinking about my priorities
  • Taking responsibility for my actions and decisions
  • Using positive and negative feedback to help me develop

I can analyse problems and develop a plan to solve them.

I do this by:

  • Reviewing relevant information
  • Thinking about how my actions effect situations
  • Talking with relevant people or groups
I am able to work with others to achieve a set goal.

I do this by:

  • Building relationships
  • Being supportive to others
  • Respecting other people’s opinions, ideas, skills and values
Our stories

Success stories

We’re proud of the progress our young people make, their transformational relationships with our volunteers and the often life-changing experiences of the world of work provided by our employer supporters. Read more success stories from across Scotland.

Get involved
Latest news & views
Additional information

Our programme provides you with the support, experiences, and skills you need to find the right career path for you and  kick-start a rewarding future.

Joining the programme

To join you must be in one of our partner schools and have been nominated by your school’s Career Ready coordinator. Once you’ve been given the go-ahead to sign-up by your school coordinator:

Apply to join

Your commitment

We ask that you commit to the programme, treat it professionally, and respect your mentor.

Here’s what we and your school expect of you:

  • Manage your time so you can keep appointments – you will have to travel to any face-to-face meetings, so if you are going to be late call your mentor and let them know
  • If you are meeting virtually, make sure you agree on which platform you are using and have the details you need to access the meeting at the agreed time
  • Be proactive and think about what you want to get out of the relationship
  • Work with your mentor to set expectations
  • Prepare for meetings by thinking about what you want to discuss and what you have learned in masterclasses
  • Follow up on any agreed actions
  • Be open to support and guidance and consider new ways of doing things
  • Agree how you will communicate between meetings
  • Be professional – respond to emails and phone calls promptly and avoid using slang, bad language or ‘text speak’

Support during the programme 

As well as the support of your mentor and school coordinator, we have a range of resources to help you make a success of the programme – all hosted in our online student portal. And we’ll soon be launching an alumni network to support you once the programme is complete.

We have over a decade of experience in partnering with employers, Local Authorities and schools in Scotland to prepare young people for the world of work. Our evidence based programme allows schools to engage with employers and prepare young people for future success.

The support we provide

Each of our areas has a dedicated and passionate Regional Manager who liaises with the school and Local Authority contacts to ensure the smooth and effective delivery of the programme.

We also provide a range of training, onboarding, and ongoing support for all our schools and young people, delivered through conference calls, events, and documents hosted within our online portal.

Our programme also counts towards the SQA ‘Personal Development: Self and Work’ Unit.

We ensure that all our mentors are PVG cleared prior to meeting with a student on a one-to-one basis.

Getting involved

We partner with schools in our active Local Authority areas, working directly with the Local Authority to build relationships with schools who would benefit most from our programme.


We work with over 300 employers in Scotland across all industries to enhance the life opportunities of young people and help employers tap into a rich, young talent pipeline in their local community.

How we support you

We work closely with our employer supporters across Scotland to optimise the benefits to their organisation and ensure that it is a time-sensitive way for them to transform the lives of young people.

You will work closely with one of our Regional Managers who will provide information and support to help you set up and engage colleagues within your organisation. Once the programme is up and running, your Regional Manager will continue to check in with you, keep you updated and provide support at key touch points throughout the programme.

How we support your volunteers

Your mentors will also receive fantastic support, briefing materials, and information to help them get the most out of their mentoring experience and relationship with their student.

Both our employer contacts and mentors will receive access to the Career Ready portal which will provide you with information about your students and their school, as well as a means of logging meeting dates and notes.

Mentors will also have a named contact in their student’s school – the Career Ready school coordinator – who will be their first point of contact for any guidance they require relating to their student.

You can find out more in our FAQ section

Speak to us

Joining our network of volunteers is an inspiring and time flexible way of making a lasting difference to a young person’s life as well as enhancing your own professional skill set.

Volunteers are the foundation of our programmes. Whether it’s as mentors or masterclass presenters, they are critical in ensuring that we are able to provide life-changing experiences for our young people across Scotland.

Our programmes is designed to be inspiring, flexible, and time-sensitive so that it can fit around a busy schedule while still having a transformational impact on the life of a young person.

Getting involved 

To provide a deeper, more impactful programme for our young people, volunteering is only open to people who work at one of our employer partners. With our employer partners selecting the volunteers who they think are best placed to support the young people on our programme.

If you’ve been nominated by your employer to be a mentor, you will have been emailed simple, step-by-step instructions on how to register for the programme. Please follow the information and links provided in these communications.

If you would like to volunteer with us but you’re company is not a Career Ready partner, then please do get in touch. 

All our mentor volunteers must be PVG cleared prior to meeting with a student on a one-to-one basis.

The support we provide

We seek to provide the best possible volunteering experience for all our volunteers.

We provide a range of on-boarding and on-going support resources for all volunteers, including briefing calls and handbooks, all hosted in our volunteer portal for easy, secure access.

We also have a team of Regional Managers and an Operations Team who are on hand to support you through your mentoring role and ahead of any masterclasses or workplace visits you may host, as well as handle any questions or issues you may have throughout your volunteering journey.

All mentors also receive a monthly email to provide support ahead of their next meeting.

You can find out more in our FAQ section