• Dissertation research

    Understanding how we grow the young Community Learning and Development workforce

    This dissertation was presented by Ceri Hunter as part of the degree of MEd in Community Learning

    and Development at the School of Education, University of Aberdeen.


    The Standards Council for Community Learning and Development Scotland in partnership with Education Scotland published the Working with Scotland’s Communities 2018 report (Rocket Science). The report presented the findings that “there is an ageing Community Learning and Development workforce with around 25% intending to retire or leave the profession in the next two to five years” and that “less than 15% of the workforce is under 35 with more than 45% over 50 years old”.

    Building upon the findings of the above report, this study examines the factors which lead young people, under the age of 35, to a career in Community Learning and Development. This study uses semi-structured interviews with four undergraduate CLD students to gather the data. There was an intention also to carry out an online survey with young people aged 14 to 25 to determine the levels of awareness of CLD amongst this age group. However, this was not possible due to the onset of COVID-19.

    The findings demonstrated low levels of awareness of CLD as a profession amongst young people and those that play an influencing role in their career decision-making processes. There is also a suggestion that CLD students are concerned about the degree of job security a career in this profession brings.

    The study concludes that it would be useful to develop a communications strategy to raise awareness of the CLD profession accompanied with a suggestion that CLD students build their career resilience during their studies to prepare for professional life.