Plans for a new qualification which aims to give young people the professional skills needed to succeed in the workplace have been announced by Education Secretary Angela Constance.

The "professional baccalaureate" will be developed with professional bodies, employers and the education community.

It will teach "technical, professional and core skills" that can be used in the workplace, according to ministers.

A focus will be placed on key sectors such as engineering and technology.

High school students can already study for baccalaureates in science, languages, expressive arts and social sciences.

'Clear programmes'

Ms Constance said: "This new qualification will offer clear programmes of learning, relevant for the world of work and key employment sectors.

"It will be open to all of our young people to help them develop the professional skills they need to succeed in the workplace, and achieve all they possibly can."

The education secretary, who was speaking at a conference on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) education, added: "As well as achieving record numbers of Higher passes, more young people are being awarded qualifications that recognise the skills they need for life and work.

"We have been working with schools, colleges and employers to develop our young workforce, exceeding our targets to deliver over 25,000 modern apprenticeships a year with more students staying on at school until sixth year.

"This action has seen a higher proportion of young people in employment, education or training after leaving school than ever before."