Skills delivery landscape: independent review


The independent review of the skills delivery landscape has been initiated to ensure the public body landscape for skills remains fit to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

It is part of work to deliver an agile, people-centred skills system, built around collaboration, which meets the ambitions of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and the Scottish Government’s response to the Scottish Funding Council’s Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability

The review will focus on the skills functions of Scotland's national public bodies including Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), including the design and delivery of apprenticeship programmes, regional and sectoral skills planning, and employer engagement.  

It is being led by an independent advisor and will take evidence from a wide range of stakeholders to inform its recommendations. 

The Review started its work in September 2022 and will conclude by Spring 2023. 

How to get involved

The Advisor’s remit outlines that he should engage widely with stakeholders across the post-school skills and education system to inform recommendations. As part of the engagement approach a series of measures are being put in place to gather views.

Call for evidence

The Call for Evidence is aimed at allowing everyone with an interest to have their say. It involves general questions on the skills delivery landscape as well as specific questions on functional areas directly related to areas identified in the Terms of Reference.

The Call for Evidence will run for 8 weeks from 28 October 2022 until 23 December 2022.

Responses will be independently analysed and used to support the Advisor’s final recommendations to Ministers.


The webinar sessions are designed to gather views from specific audiences with a range of interests across the skills delivery landscape.

The sessions will run during the call for evidence period and their design will allow for attendees to choose to discuss the subjects that matter to them. Sessions will be available for:

  • businesses and employers
  • public sector agencies
  • local authorities
  • further education providers
  • higher education providers
  • independent training providers
  • equalities and support organisations
  • apprentices

We will publish a programme of webinars in early November 2022 and Individuals will be able to sign up through EventBrite.

The notes from the webinar discussions and views provided will form part of the evidence to inform the Advisor’s recommendations.

Engagement with young people and learners

Alongside the webinars we will be holding sessions designed specifically to get the views of young people including current and potential learners

These sessions will be tailored to ensure that the questions can support young people to give their views in a way that suits their needs and requirements.


Independent advisor: James Withers

James Withers has spent the last 20 years working in some of Scotland's leading business organisations. This includes four years as Chief Executive of NFU Scotland and he recently stepped down as Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink after 11 years in post. James is also a Board Director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and a member of the Scottish Government's Trade Board. He now works as an independent consultant, supporting a range of businesses and organisations with their growth plans.


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