As part of the Attainment Challenge: National Strategic Partnership we are working with the Scottish Government and local authorities, to explore how the Young Scot National Entitlement Card (YSNEC) and our digital platforms can help to close the attainment gap in Scotland, through targeted interventions which improve attainment, improve health and wellbeing and address inequalities. Demonstrator projects have been carried out in a number of local authorities, offering a range of entitlements to young people.


Our Scottish Attainment Challenge Partnership is a joint project between six local authorities, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Improvement Service.   

This ground-breaking project builds on the success of Renfrewshire’s Youth Services Model – a demonstrator programme which used the Young Scot National Entitlement Card (YSNEC) to provide travel entitlements to young jobseekers and care leavers.   

We wanted to explore if the smart card technology in the YSNEC could be used in other innovative ways to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in deprived areas. We also wanted to test models of delivery that could be customised for other areas of Scotland. 

 All young people in Scotland have access to the same discounted offers using their YSNEC. However, specific groups of young people can be given access to extra entitlements for free using their cards. This is critical to ensure that they can access this support in the same way as their friends – creating a non-stigmatising way of working with specific groups of young people.


Phase one with North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and The Highland Council  

During the first phase of the project, we worked with North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and The Highland Council. This partnership used the YSNEC to provide local entitlements to over 1,000 young people who are facing significant barriers to their attainment. 

The entitlements included local information, travel tickets, weekend and holiday food provision, access to leisure and extra-curricular activities, and help to reduce the cost of the school day. These extra entitlements were specifically selected as they are known to improve health and wellbeing – drivers in improving attainment, reducing inequality and challenging rural poverty.

Read our case studies below.

Smart Travel

Tickets are loaded onto the YSNEC, removing the financial barriers of travel for young people to attend education, wider learning and volunteering activities.


Smart Travel



 Tackling Food Insecurity

Hot breakfasts, meal deals and drinks were offered to groups of young people in Renfrewshire and Highland – all accessed using the YSNEC


Free breakfasts in local cafe



Free meals in
leisure centres



Providing free
school breakfasts

North Ayrshire & Highland


Meal deal in

local cafe



Access to Leisure Memberships, Sportswear & Rewards

Free leisure memberships and spending credit for sportswear were linked to the YSNEC. Young Scot Rewards were linked to after school activities to acknowledge achievement and participation. 


Access to leisure

Highland and North Ayrshire


Young Scot Rewards

North Ayrshire