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Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy



Our vision is for a smarter Scotland with a globally competitive economy based on high value jobs, with progressive and innovative business leadership:

  • Where people can work in teams, are creative and enterprising and hungry to continually learn new skills. They expect to realise their aspirations and are equipped to achieve their potential in a constantly changing world. People are motivated to contribute to Scotland's future and are confident that they can do so.
  • Where people are entrepreneurial and innovative; small businesses are encouraged to grow and there is strong, coherent support for businesses of all sizes. Migrant workers and overseas students play a valuable role in an expanded workforce and economy.
  • Where employers improve productivity by investing in their own staff and are able to access a skilled workforce that is increasingly literate and numerate with good ICT and problem solving skills.
  • Where learning and training providers work as one system and thanks to wider use of technology and e-learning, barriers of geography and rurality have been reduced.

To achieve this, we need to focus on the following:

Individual Development

1. Developing a distinctively Scottish approach to skills acquisition, balancing the needs of employers and individuals, aligning employment and skills and placing the individual at the centre of learning and skills development.

2. Developing a coherent funding support system for individuals of all ages and in all forms of education and training that encourages participation in learning and work. This will include support for individuals to increase control and choice over their learning and skills development.

3. Ensuring that this Strategy will promote equal access to and participation in, skills and learning for everyone. This Strategy aims to promote equality of opportunity to those trapped by persistent disadvantage and to improve numbers of people economically active including those from groups such as race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and religion/faith and educational starting points.

Economic Pull

4. Stimulating increased demand for skills from employers, both public and private.

5. Improving the utilisation of skills in the workplace.

6. Understanding current and projected demands for skills to help prepare for future skills needs.

7. Challenging employers, learning providers, awarding bodies and others to use the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework ( SCQF) as a tool to support learning, specifically to facilitate the recognition of learning and for enabling individuals to move smoothly through learning environments, getting credit for learning they have already achieved.

Cohesive Structures

8. Simplifying structures to make it easier for people to access the learning, training and development they need, including formal and informal learning by merging a number of bodies into one, focussed on skills.

9. Ensuring that Curriculum for Excellence provides vocational learning and the employability skills needed for the world of work and is the foundation for skills development throughout life.

10. Achieving parity of esteem between academic and vocational learning, recognising that vocational learning is a valuable alternative to the academic pathway and important to all.

11. Challenging our funding bodies to use their budgets to help achieve a stepchange in skills development and use.

12. Encouraging providers to see themselves as part of a continuum of provision - links in a chain - which helps individuals to see the relevance of learning to them, progress in their learning and make full and effective use of the skills they have acquired. Judging that system by how well it serves those who need the most support.