A GROUND-BREAKING development programme designed to support secondary school pupils into employment has marked a major milestone with its largest graduation ceremony to date.

More than 380 students from 83 schools in eight local authority areas celebrated completing the Career Ready programme during a special ceremony at Perth Concert Hall.

Career Ready links employers with schools to open up the world of work to young people.

Offering a structured programme for 15 to 18 year olds, they rely on employers such as Diageo to deliver the four key pillars of activity – mentoring, internships, masterclasses and workplace visits.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, said: “The Career Ready programme provides fantastic opportunities for young people to learn new skills and have workplace experience which will support them in their career aspirations – in line with our Developing the Young Workforce aims.

“I congratulate all of today’s graduates on their achievement and wish them every success in their future careers.”