Doubling investment in future skills

Additional £10 million to prepare workforce for emerging challenges.

Scotland’s workforce will be helped to acquire the necessary skills to address issues such as EU exit, rapid technological changes and the climate emergency.

The Future Skills Action Plan – which includes £10 million of additional funding for those already in work through doubling the Flexible Workforce Development Fund – will ensure Scotland has a skilled and productive workforce which is resilient to future economic challenges.

The plan highlights action to increase upskilling and retraining opportunities.

Key actions include:

  • addressing skills gaps and shortages as a central part of the Scottish Government’s response to the UK’s departure from the European Union
  • publishing a Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan to provide the framework for the skills investment needed to meet the global climate change challenge
  • as part of the £1.3 billion funding made available to City and Growth Deals, building on work to develop and deliver skills investment plans in each region

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“Scotland’s highly skilled workforce ensures we are an ambitious, productive and competitive nation.

“While we already have a strong skills system in place, further change is needed to enable us to move forward confidently. This includes considering what skills provision is required and how we ensure the system is both agile and sustainable.

“The Future Skills Action Plan clearly signals our intention to invest more in the skills of those already in work, while promoting a culture of shared investment with employers in Scotland’s future workforce. This is especially important for the major challenges we are facing as a nation such as EU exit and the climate emergency.

“However, meeting Scotland’s skills challenges cannot be met by government alone, and will require collective action from across society. Today is an important step in making this happen.”


The Future Skills Action Plan accepts and endorses the recommendations made by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board in its 2018 Strategic Plan and outlines the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland’s skills system.

The Future Skills Action Plan is available online:

The £10 million of additional funding for workforce development builds on our £10 million per annum investment in the Flexible Workforce Development fund


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