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Exam results helpline: The careers advisers ready to aid young people in grades distress

The results helpline run by Skills Development Scotland opens at 8am. Careers adviser Ingrid Holt will be on duty at its Dundee branch.

‘Exam’ results dropping through the letterboxes of more than 145,000 young people on Tuesday morning will be a cause for celebration for many.

But for some, their National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher certificates will bring despair and for them an army of volunteers is on standby to help pick up the pieces.

People like Ingrid Holt will man an exam results helpline which springs into action at 8am as results ping through by text and email and start arriving in the post.

Ingrid is a careers advisor at Skills Development Scotland’s Dundee branch and, for seven days, part of a nationwide team delivering its results helpline.

Careers adviser Ingrid Holt will be ready to take calls from 8am.

She said: “This has been a year like no other for young people and it is important to recognise the challenges that’s meant for them and to reassure them that there are still options and opportunities for them.

“It’s equally important to let them know that whatever their results might be, our advice – as always – is don’t panic and we can help.”

This has been a year like no other for young people…”

Careers adviser Ingrid Holt

With exams cancelled for a second year and grades based on assessments in school, senior pupils and school leavers already know their provisional grades.

However, Tuesday’s results will bring confirmation and news of conditional university, college or job offers.

Each year, the helpline takes over 1,000 calls and contact centre team leader Ruth Scott says many callers ring up in a state of distress.

While there won’t be the shock factor of previous years, she still expects some strong emotions among those whose performance fell short of expectations.

Advisers can, however, show youngsters at a pivotal point in their lives there are other paths they can take.

How can advisers help?

Ruth said: “You can be speaking to somebody who is at a really low point when they come on the phone.

“They’re scared, they’re anxious, they may be a bit afraid of what the future holds.

“We don’t have spaces on courses to offer, that’s not our role, but what we can do is help them to gather as much information as possible so that they can confidently make informed choices.”

Among the options careers advisers can discuss are vacancies at UK universities and colleges, clearing, apprenticeships, jobs and volunteering.

Ruth said advisers can often lift young people’s spirits by helping them come up with a plan B.

They’re scared, they’re anxious, they may be a bit afraid of what the future holds.”

Ruth Scott, contact centre team leader

She said: “You can hear the change in the caller’s voice when that lightbulb goes on perhaps; that hope is not lost, there is something out there for them.”

Encouraging those whose career plans have been thrown off track by their results to be brave and seek help, she said: “The key message is to pick up the phone and get in touch if you’ve got questions.

“We will do our best to answer those questions.”

The exam results helpline on 0808 100 8000 will be open from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and 9am to 5pm on Thursday and Friday and Monday to Wednesday next week.

Advisers can also be contacted via social media at My World of Work on Facebook and Instagram.

Exam results in Scotland: When do they come out and how do pupils appeal?

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