We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Skills Strategy

The refreshed Skills Strategy, Skills for Scotland: Accelerating the Recovery and Increasing Sustainable Economic Growth, makes clear the Scottish Government's commitment to training and skills and sets out a flexible, responsive, partnership approach to meeting Scotland's skills needs at a crucial point in our economic recovery.

Our vision is for a successful, globally competitive economy based on high skilled and better paid jobs, high productivity, fairness, and high quality public services. This sits strongly within the National Performance Framework, the overarching Purpose for government and public services to increase sustainable economic growth with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, and the Scottish Government-COSLA Concordat with its Single Outcome Agreements agreed within Community Planning Partnerships across Scotland. To help realise this vision a smarter, more ambitious Scotland is required where:

  • creative, innovative, enterprising people:

- are aware of the skills they possess and can use them effectively; and

- are engaged in competitive public and private sector organisations with ambitious, progressive and innovative leadership and management.

  • high skill, high productivity, healthy workplaces enable people to perform at their best.
  • a cohesive and efficient learning and careers system centred on the individual that anticipates and responds to employers' needs:

- supports the lifelong development and use of skills;

- provides high quality learning opportunities and continually improves; and

- recognises and credits the learning individuals have undertaken and enables them to progress through the learning system seamlessly.

  • national and local government policies for investment, enterprise, skills, innovation and competition support the development and best use of skills in the workplace.
  • the nation is a model of best practice in tackling climate change with businesses capitalising on the opportunities that a low carbon economy will bring, creating new employment for a skilled workforce and driving the adaptation of existing jobs.

To achieve this vision skills policy will focus on four priority themes:

  • empowering people to ensure they have the opportunity to access the right advice, support and opportunities to acquire the skills and attributes to both contribute to and benefit from future economic success;
  • supporting employers by better understanding and assessing the skills they need for future success, and ensuring that the supply of skills, training and qualifications can be responsive to this;
  • simplifying the skills system to ensure that it is more coherent and easy to understand for individuals and employers; and
  • strengthening partnerships and collective responsibility between public, private and third sectors to help improve skills and the contribution they make towards achieving Scotland's social and economic aspirations.


This strategy continues to be a framework that sets out the expectations on how all the constituent parts of Scotland's education and learning systems can strengthen their contribution towards a more skilled, more successful and fairer Scotland, with better employment opportunities, higher productivity, and increasing sustainable economic growth.

In implementing this strategy and promoting a fairer, more inclusive Scotland we will, together with partners, continue to recognise people's differing needs, situations and goals and work to remove the barriers which restrict progress.

An initial equalities impact assessment has been published alongside this strategy and looks in more depth at barriers which may exist for various groups affected by the commitments made and sets out the approach to ensuring that, as far as possible, these barriers are addressed as the strategy is implemented.


The original Skills for Scotland Strategy set out the Scottish Government's ambitions for skills, in a lifelong learning context, from cradle to the grave. Covering early years provision, schools, further and higher education, work related learning and informal learning opportunities, it set out the ambitions for the development and better use of skills across three strategic themes: focus on individual development; response to the needs of the needs of the economy and demands of employers; and the creation of cohesive structures.

The Strategy provided a new agenda for skills and learning in Scotland - developing both Scotland's skills policies and its skills landscape in tandem, crafting them into a more coherent structure designed to address Scottish requirements. It focused on Scottish approaches to Scottish issues.