Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is Scotland’s career service helping people and businesses to develop and apply their skills and contribute to Scotland’s economy.

SDS delivers careers services in every state secondary school in the country, a network of high street centres and online at SDS’s careers website My World of Work.

SDS’s career information, advice and guidance service helps people of all ages to understand the world of work and develop lifelong career management skills.

As pupils move from primary seven into secondary school, they will begin meeting SDS careers advisers in groups, at events and even one-to-one, especially at subject choices time. Pupils will also be encouraged to explore My World of Work regularly.

Working with parents and carers

The most influential figures in children’s career choices are parents and carers, and to achieve the best outcomes it’s important to start conversations early.

By talking about careers with your child as early as you can, you’ll be able to help them find the best route that offers them the future they want. It can be difficult to know where to begin – or where to find the time.

From including parents in subject choice discussions with careers advisers in schools, to helping them understand the jobs of the future, including what skills are most in demand by employers, to what to do if your child doesn't get the results they need – SDS can help.

SDS discussion guides, written by expert careers advisers and designed to mirror your child’s milestones, will provide the steps you need to approach these conversations with confidence.

SDS also actively work with all of Scotland’s Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW) groups helping them to connect businesses with education and help young people broaden their career aspirations.

Visit the parents and carers section on to help you and your child get ideas for their career and explore the routes they could take to the job that they want.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone, SDS advisers are also on hand. You can use the live chat function on My World of Work, or call the SDS helpline, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 0800 917 8000.

Routes to…

There’s more than one route to success. Whether your child is focused on further education, wants to explore apprenticeship opportunities, or would prefer to go straight into the world of work, SDS can help them, and you identify where they want to go. This support could be through working with your child in group, one-to-one or drop in engagements in school or through our post-school career support services.

SDS also administers Scottish Apprenticeships on behalf of Scottish Government, which incorporates Foundation Apprenticeships, Modern Apprenticeships, and Graduate Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships give individuals from every walk of life the opportunity to build the experience and skills that employers want to see by demonstrating and promoting the benefits work-based learning brings to businesses, individuals and the Scottish economy.

Whatever their need, age or stage – SDS is here to help you and your child find the future that fits them best.

Careers advice doesn’t end at the school gates - support for adults

No matter what stage you’re at in your career, support is available.

From Stranraer to Stornoway, SDS careers advisers, personal advisers and work coaches support people of all ages to take control of their future.

SDS free services include:

· Career information, advice and guidance on career choices

· Advice on the routes into careers including jobs, apprenticeships, training and learning

· Help with CVs, application forms and interviews

· Insight into the local labour market

· Access to Scotland’s careers web service, My World of Work

· Redundancy support

· Support for parents and carers

Due to current government guidance on COVID-19 safety, SDS careers centres are currently closed but you can still access free, expert career information and advice. You can speak to an SDS adviser by contacting your local career centre or calling 0800 917 8000.