The aims of our work in this area are to support jobs and growth, to improve sustainable public service provision, and to enable people to enjoy the benefits of improved life chances. There are four main ways in which we hope to achieve this:
Articulating employer and economic need
Our aim is to look at current employer engagement and investment models and make recommendations for improvement and reform. We want employers to have confidence that their voice is being heard in the post-16 education system, and to ensure that their needs are articulated in a clear and efficient way. We are currently examining how the Government engages on skills and training with employers, with a view to how models can be made more effective.
Opportunities for All
Our objective is to ensure the effective delivery of the Government’s commitment to opportunities for all – an offer of a place in learning or training to every 16–19 year old who is not currently in a job, in learning or in training. To achieve this we will build upon the well-established 16+ Learning Choices approach, and:
- consider improved tracking and monitoring systems, underpinned by a legislative duty to share data, to identify young people who need support and target this most effectively
- engage colleges, national training providers, schools and other learning settings to identify appropriate provision and prioritise this for 16-19 year olds as appropriate
- work with Skills Development Scotland and other partners to identify the most appropriate ways to engage with young people and to encourage them back into learning or training.
Within tightening budgets, we want to make sure that public sector resources provide the right training opportunities with appropriate progression for individuals. In our recent review Making Training Work Better we looked at training provision in Scotland to ensure it is best meeting the needs of trainees and businesses. We also want to ensure training is contributing to our ambitions for sustainable employment and business growth.
As a next step toward achieving these ambitions we are exploring the potential for an employability fund that allows us to support individuals to access jobs in their local area.
Better alignment of Scotland’s employability services
We want to improve employability services through better alignment of skills and opportunities, to support efforts to grow the economy and create jobs. Our aim is to bring together a coherent range of services to jobseekers and employers, in order to:
- simplify the jobseeker’s journey to ensure their needs are being met
- ensure employability services are delivered to agreed national standards
- improve service alignment, exploring shared service arrangements where possible – such as locating a number of services in one location – to reduce duplication of effort and to make better use of public funding.