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Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy


annex a:what our partners need to do

All of our delivery partners need to recognise that different people have different needs, promote equality in ways most suited to individual needs and have due regard to the relevant statutory duties relating to equal opportunities.


  • Be ambitious, demanding consumers of skills;
  • Make best use of the skills of their workers by investing in their management and leadership and HR practices;
  • Understand how training can benefit their performance and their staff and be aware of the range of training and support that is available to them;
  • Be prepared to train individuals to develop the employee they want - and be prepared to invest in that training;
  • Encourage and facilitate staff to access available learning opportunities;
  • Work with learning providers to offer work opportunities and experiences, both at entry level and as integrated parts of higher-level learning, across learning sectors;
  • Create a better business environment by working more closely with communities;
  • Recognise the importance of their role in engaging with young people, schools and parents and carers;
  • Establish links with their relevant Sector Skills Council to ensure that their skills needs are addressed and their voice is heard in the development of qualifications; and
  • Work together with Trade Unions, using local learning agreements, to support the development of individuals in the workplace.


  • Take an active role in shaping their own lives and managing their own learning and development, contributing to their own skills development as far as they are able;
  • When in employment, work with their employer to identify and address their learning and training needs; and
  • Know what is available to them and where to go for information, advice and guidance support.


  • Play to their specific strengths:
    • with schools providing a sound basis for future learning and skills development;
    • with Community Learning and Development offering learning opportunities to engage, attract and enthuse those who are least likely to get involved in learning;
    • with colleges delivering core, employability and vocational skills and training to meet national, regional and local needs;
    • with universities competing on a global basis in research, development and teaching, serving as a key driver in Scotland's economic and enterprise agenda;
    • with learndirect scotland learning centres offering a less formal entry-route;
    • with voluntary and private training providers as key elements of responsive provision that meets local needs; and
    • with all providers empowering individuals to demand a quality learning experience that meets their needs.
  • Consider themselves as part of one system geared towards helping people develop the skills they need, where articulation, integration and working with other providers are the norm:
    • building on the effective partnership working that already exists;
    • work with awarding bodies and use SCQF to enable all learning to be recognised;
    • ensure that it is easy for individuals to progress from one from of learning to another; and
    • understand and support individuals before and after their learning and into employment.
  • Develop strong partnerships and communication links to ensure that information about an individual's support needs, learning styles and achievements are shared:
    • for those school pupils who undertake part of their learning in college, they should be able to relate this learning to the wider curriculum and their achievements and learning in college must be recognised and acknowledged within their school; and
    • address the barriers which prevent young people from undertaking different models of learning, including learning opportunities outside of school.
  • Provide high quality, relevant, learning opportunities that have value in the workplace:
    • provide learning at times and places accessible by workers;
    • offer easy access to robust information about learning opportunities and funding to individuals and employers;
    • emphasise and prioritise employability as a key outcome from learning;
    • ensure that learning is geared towards helping individuals to utilise their skills at all levels, from foundation-level to PhD - not just their subject-based knowledge and understanding, but also the practical application skills, generic cognitive skills, communication skills and autonomy, accountability and the ability to work with others - providing individuals with the ability to utilise skills and foster innovation in a changing and demanding labour market; and
    • engage with employers so that people can use the skills gained through learning to access work and progress in the workplace.
  • Work with and through their representative bodies - in the case of universities and colleges this means Universities Scotland and the Association of Scottish Colleges - to:
    • ensure that in teaching individuals they provide them with essential skills;
    • ensure positive destinations for individuals where the learning that those individuals have undertaken will be effectively used;
    • work closely with business to develop courses that will lead to individuals having the knowledge and skills that meet both business need and individual aspirations; and
    • work with business in developing relationships that will make best use of the knowledge created in institutions for the benefit of Scotland's economy.
  • Make effective use of labour market information and information, advice and guidance in:
    • developing learning, qualifications and work experience opportunities; and
    • responding to demand from individuals and employers and different segments of these markets.
  • Work with learndirect scotland to register all publicly-funded learning courses on the National Learning Opportunities Database, so that the Database can become an effective national resource for all to use.


  • Take forward robust implementation plans for Curriculum for Excellence;
  • Develop clear processes for identifying communities, families and children who may have higher needs or who are at higher risk of poor outcomes and tailor services to meet their particular needs, building on the work of local partnerships implementing More Choices, More Chances and Workforce Plus;
  • Enhance their strategic role as both providers and commissioners of early years services;
  • Encourage the links that are emerging between employers and schools through Determined to Succeed (DtS) and look to expand them into early years;
  • Ensure that all partners, including colleges and community based learning providers, are included in the production of Community Learning and Development strategies and that appropriate linkages are made to community planning; and
  • Deliver coherence between all functions that support skills development, including Workforce Plus and NEET partnerships.


  • Move quickly to ensure that the SCQF embraces more learning opportunities by increasing the number of credit rating bodies; facilitating the inclusion of work based learning programmes and encouraging the recognition of informal learning.


  • Ensure that its review of funding methodology will:
    • develop a tertiary education system which responds to the needs of learners and employers;
    • deliver a step change in skills utilisation for individuals; and
    • promote successful transition and progression for individuals with improved retention and attainment.
  • Work with others to develop and support a system of recognition of prior learning.


  • Involve employers in the development of qualifications through more active engagement with the Sector Skills Councils;
  • Work towards placing their qualifications in the SCQF and making links with other qualifications to open up opportunities for individuals; and
  • Continue to ensure that essential skills are visible in qualifications.


  • Develop proper engagement with employers in their sector in order that they can speak with legitimacy on their behalf;
  • Deliver sectoral Labour Market Information that is trusted, well used and fits with the robust national information supplied by Futureskills Scotland;
  • Ensure that employers have a say in the design and development of learning at all levels and in all settings, not just in vocational qualifications; and
  • Develop strong partnerships with other key players in their sector as well as with Government, providers and intermediary bodies.


  • Support the development and position of union learning representatives within their organisations;
  • Work in partnership with employers to expand the use of local learning agreements; and
  • Work collectively with the Scottish Government and key partners to help support the creation of a Scottish Union Academy.