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Experience Counts


A new older learners programme has been developed by the Scottish Executive. "Experience Counts" seeks to encourage Sector Skills Councils to collaborate with colleges and learning providers to develop and deliver bite size or taster courses aimed at the older learner (age 50 and over) within their sector. Proposals should be aimed at improving the employability skills of older people currently in work.

Funding totalling £500,000 was made available for financial years 2005-2008 from the Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department of the Scottish Executive. Following a preliminary pilot phase, there now remains £264,000 available for the financial years 2006-2008 and applications are now invited for the following 6 awards:-

  • 3 x 2 year projects at £58,000 each.
  • 3 x 1 year projects at £30,000 each.
Pilot Phase

Three Sector Skills Councils have participated in the pilot phase of this programme : Lantra; Skills for Logistics and Skillsmart. All three Sector Skills Councils submitted proposals which have now been approved and projects are now underway. The feedback we received from these Sector Skills Councils has been incorporated into the wider roll-out of the programme to the Skills for Business Network.


The aims of "Experience Counts" are to:-

  • encourage partnership working between Sector Skills Councils, learning providers and employers;
  • support training needs analyses targeting the skills needs of the 50 and over workforce with particular emphasis on employability skills;
  • encourage older workers back into learning - to make them more productive in their current job and raise their confidence to acquire new skills;
  • support the development and delivery of learning opportunities in response to the outcomes from the training needs analyses.

Proposals are now invited from licensed Sector Skills Councils. An application form should be submitted to the Scottish Executive no later than Friday 21 April 2006.

Useful Links

Sector Skills Development Agency


Scottish Executive's Lifelong Learning Strategy