How we support youth employability in Scotland

Wednesday 12 July 2023
Jordan McCart - programme lead glasgow

In honour of World Youth Skills Day, we spoke to Jordan McCart to spotlight how Action for Children are helping equip young people with the skills they need for employment. Jordan is the Programme Team Lead for our Employability Service in Glasgow.

What are the main aims of your service?

Although we are an employability service, we go above and beyond within our roles and provide more than just employment support. We often become a source of emotional support for young people

The main aim of the service is to provide support to young people aged 16-24 who are furthest removed from the employment market. We provide training programmes that focus on a range of sectors such as Construction, Customer Service, Sport & Fitness, as well as general beginner programmes and a 1-1 service called One Stop.

Our programmes can run between four to six weeks and vary between three to five days per week. We give young people life guidance and employment skills that will hopefully steer them onto the right path, whether that is into further training, employment, or higher education. We also work with young people to help them achieve qualifications, identification, and more.

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What is a week in your life like?


This week is the last week of the financial quarter as well as Annual Performance Review (APR) season, so Monday’s focus was to catch up on my reporting and ensure that I had all my supervisions and 1-1s complete for my team.

I am also part of the Investors in Young People (IiYP) group. IiYP is a part of the Investment in Young People initiative – a social enterprise that recognises the work of organisations in helping young people (aged five to 25 years old) in gaining employability skills. Today, I had a meeting today with my other two colleagues in my IiYP group before the large IiYP meeting tomorrow. We were assigned the topic ‘Meta Skills’, which is a new terminology being used by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to explain human skills that are needed in the future and that can’t be replicated by technology. We spent the afternoon discussing our findings and progress on the project so far.

Female student sitting at desk amongst classmates and smiling in classroom


Today was the IiYP meeting. In the meeting, I was able to catch up with the other people involved in the group and share my group’s progress on our topic, Meta Skills. It was a really positive meeting, and my group were proud to share the progress we’ve made.

In the afternoon, I created some email programme recruitment templates and inputted data into Glasgow’s Employability Service. This hosts a large collection of employability services alongside detail of what each service provides. The initiative was set by the council to drive awareness of what services are available to young people, so it was important that I got all our programmes onto this site. I also updated our All Employability information leaflet ahead of our next set of networking events.


I caught up with my team following the Customer Service Programme that morning before meeting with the social media team for a drop in Q&A session. I oversee the social media for the employability service so it was really helpful to get a better understanding of how we could improve our social media platforms. Because of the age demographic of our service users, social media is a vital tool in helping us to reach more young people. This was quickly followed by a meeting with my line manager, Evelyn, who phoned to speak about funding figures.


Today was my busiest day of the week so far. I met with a Quality Improvement Officer called Jane, who I met at a networking day last month after she gave a talk on Meta Skills. As this if the focus of my group's work for IiYP, I arranged a meeting with her to discuss this further and build a rapport.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with a new staff member from the Street League organisation – another training provider who use sport to engage with young people furthest removed from the job market. As they were new to Street League, I discussed what we do here at Action for Children and how we can work together in the future to help more young people enter the workforce.

Lastly, I had my monthly check in with my line manager, Evelyn, who was going over my Annual Performance Review. I was really pleased with the positive feedback I received regarding my time as a Team Lead over the past eight months and the progress our service is making.

The progress that we are making gave me a huge boost to not only keep doing what I am doing but to push to develop our employability service further


Today was my last day before knocking off for two weeks of annual leave. In the morning, I worked with a member of my team on a new networking video for our new Stepping Stones programme. It is great seeing my team try new things and get out of their comfort zone and learn new skills.

In the afternoon I discussed my assessor award for delivering SQA qualifications with our SQA Co-coordinator, John. We also discussed the progress of the service in delivering the qualification with our most recent young people, as this is a new part of the job for myself and my team. At the end of the day, my team and I went for a few drinks to enjoy some time to catch up away from the hustle and bustle of such a busy week.

Young teenage boy with big smile wearing backpack and hoodie.jpg

I have worked with lots of young people since starting at Action for Children and I feel I have made a difference to many of these young people’s lives. It is great seeing a young person grow in confidence in a matter of weeks – you could have a young person who doesn’t speak on day one and by week four they are leading groups through sessions and openly chatting about their experiences. Seeing this progress is really rewarding and reminds me why I love my job; every day is different and there is so much potential still to come.

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