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Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy

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Statement on Equality

On 9 June 2007 it was announced that Scottish Ministers would develop a Skills Strategy for Scotland to be produced within the first 100 days of the new administration. The production of this Skills Strategy has afforded us the opportunity of setting out our ambitions for skills, in a lifelong learning context, from cradle to grave. In keeping with both our voluntary and statutory commitments, this Strategy has the promotion of equality of opportunity and the elimination of discrimination at its core.

This Strategy is a framework to show how all of the constituent parts of our education and learning systems can contribute to giving Scotland a skills base that is world class. As well as aiming to promote equal access to and participation in, skills and learning for all, we will aim to recognise people's different needs, situations and goals and remove the barriers that limit what people can do and can be. We will expect our partner organisations to do the same.

Each part of the Strategy covers very specific target groups from early years through to adulthood. In order to consider fully the equalities implications of each policy area on its relevant audience, we will ensure that each programme underpinning this Strategy will be equality impact assessed across six strands (race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and religion/faith) and monitored thereafter to make sure that they are appropriate, to mitigate against any potential negative impact and to ensure that our policies are as robust and effective as they can be for as many people as possible.

We will engage actively with our partners, stakeholders, target groups and individuals in order to evaluate the needs and experiences of the communities that they serve. This process will allow us to develop constructive and informative links with a range of equality constituencies and improve our knowledge and understanding of equality issues. Through monitoring the impact of our policies we will be able to refine and adapt them to meet the specific needs of our target audience thus ensuring that each individual has the opportunity to reach their potential.