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Scotland’s National Qualifications are preparing young people for the workplace

Posted: 19th September 2016

National Qualifications are one of the most important types of qualification in Scotland. Almost every young person will leave school or college with one or more National Qualification.

SQA has recently introduced new National Qualifications to schools and colleges in Scotland. The new qualifications have a greater focus on developing skills and ensuring young people can use their skills beyond the classroom. There is more emphasis on types of assessment that allow young people to demonstrate their skills, such as practical activities, performances and research projects.

These new qualifications have replaced the previous National Qualifications that many employers will be familiar with. The table below shows you what has changed:


SQA is also one of the main strategic partners in the Scottish Government’s Developing Young Workforce (DYW) initiative. DYW aims to create a world class vocational education system in Scotland, improve the options on offer for young people, and reduce youth unemployment. In doing so, it will bridge the gap between education and employers.

SQA has a wide range of qualifications that develop all types of skills for all types of careers. They work closely with employers to ensure that the qualifications are up-to-date with current practice and continue to meet industry needs.

For more information, you can download SQA’s guide to Scottish qualifications or visit

Support available from SQA

 SQA has a team of Liaison Managers and Regional Managers who, as well as supporting schools and colleges throughout the region, are also available to support employers in understanding SQA’s qualifications. Employers are welcome to get in touch with their local SQA contacts to find out more about the support that is available.


Susan Gibb: SQA Liaison Manager for Edinburgh


Theresa McGowan: SQA Regional Manager for Edinburgh



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