A major new programme aimed at helping local pupils boost their skills before leaving school is set to be launched.
The Future Skills College will see the city council team up with Dundee and Angus College and Angus Council for the initiative.
From August, over the course of a year, S5 and S6 pupils will spend four days at the college, two days working towards their chosen career and a further two days studying maths and English as well as focusing on health and wellbeing, personal development and skills for life, learning and work.
The final day of the week will be spent on a work placement with an employer.
The project will then see youngsters moving into an apprenticeship with that employer if they successfully complete the programme.
Pupils from across Dundee, as well as Carnoustie and Monifieth High Schools, will be involved — with 30 places available in the electrical and plumbing trades as well as places in early education and childcare.
It’s hoped the scheme could grow to accommodate 200 students within five years.
The project comes after figures revealed that just 78% of 16 to 19-year-olds in the city were in “positive destinations” after leaving school in August 2016, giving Dundee the second-highest “non-participation rate” in Scotland.
In a report to councillors, Paul Clancy, executive director of children and families services, called the figures “stark”. Mr Clancy also said that the existing model — which sees some pupils given the chance to undertake work and training in the electrical and plumbing fields — had been “successful” in providing youngsters with routes to employment.
But he conceded that the existing scheme “is not without its challenges”, adding: “Pupils, for a variety of reasons such as lack of confidence, uncertainty around a programme that is not the norm and allegiance to their school and friends, can be reticent to participate in the programme.”
Councillor Gregor Murray, convener of the children and families service committee, said: “Statistics show we need to do much more to help young people in the years after they leave school and the Future Skills College will be a way to deliver longer-term options with local employers.”