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Helpline will offer support as exam results come out

By Alan Hendry

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SDS careers adviser Lorraine McGarry will be taking calls on the helpline.
SDS careers adviser Lorraine McGarry will be taking calls on the helpline.

Thousands of young people can access dedicated support on exam results when a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helpline opens on Tuesday.

The free* helpline from Scotland’s career service offers advice, information and guidance for young people and their parents and carers from 8am on results day. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.

Around 138,000 candidates across the country will receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher results.

Scotland's education secretary John Swinney said: “Young people and their families have shown tremendous resilience in coping with the many challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and will naturally be anxious about the potential impact on results.

“You may achieve the results you worked so hard for, but if you miss out on the grades you were hoping for there is still a huge variety of options available to you. Skills Development Scotland advisers will provide expert advice to help all pupils understand their future education and career choices.”

James Russell, SDS director of career information, advice and guidance operations, said: “This year is unlike any other and young people receiving results and their families may be feeling more anxious, which is understandable. This is the point when their work and efforts are recognised. Our advice and support is available and our message is: if your results aren’t what you expected, don’t worry, you have lots of options.

“Our careers advisers are here to help you and your parents and carers with information on all the options and opportunities on offer.”

The SDS Results Helpline will be open on August 4 and 5 from 8am to 8pm, August 6 and 7 from 9am-5pm and August 10-12 from 9am-5pm.

SDS’s expert careers advisers can discuss options and next steps such as course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, apprenticeships and jobs or volunteering.

Mr Russell added: “We’ll also have advisers available through social media to answer queries if you find it easier to get in touch via direct messaging.”

Joanna Murphy, chairperson of the National Parent Forum of Scotland, said: “I know from my own experiences as a parent that receiving results is a day of high emotions, both for young people and their parents.

“Results day can bring about a range of feelings, whether that’s nerves, anticipation, excitement or worry, and for many of us the changes this year due to Covid-19 will have heightened these emotions.

“The SDS Results Helpline is a real lifeline. Whether you’ve received unexpected results, or want to discuss your choices, their advisers can talk through a wide range of options that are available.

“This opportunity for young people to have a calm conversation with someone impartial and knowledgeable helps take some of the heat out of the emotion of the day, and reminds young people and their parents that, no matter what results they have received, there is always a next step available.”

SDS’s Inverness-based careers adviser Lorraine McGarry said: “Young people receiving their results have had a very different experience this year. The helpline and their school careers advisers are there to help them, and their parents and carers who make around a third of the calls to the helpline, to find out about all of options and opportunities available to them.”

To get in touch with the SDS Results Helpline via social media go to My World of Work on Facebook or Twitter.

Results information and advice is also available on Scotland’s careers website, My World of Work, which has practical help and links to UCAS, SAAS, Young Scot and the SQA.

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