Enterprise and Skills Review report on Phase 2: Skills Alignment

Report illustrating the outcomes and progress achieved by the Skills Alignment project as part of the Enterprise and Skills Review.

2. Purpose, vision and benefits


The purpose of the project is to align the relevant functions of SFC and SDS to ensure that Scotland's people and businesses are equipped with the right skills to succeed in the economy, not just now but in the future.

To achieve this, Scottish Government working closely with SDS and SFC have identified the following core principles:

  • The need for a single set of strategic skills guidance to deliver skills planning: to be issued to both SDS and SFC boards alongside the agencies' letters of guidance, which will support the delivery of the Strategic Board's Strategic Plan.
  • The need for a jointly agreed evidence base , drawing on the work of the Analytical Unit, as well as other agencies' and stakeholders' input, through which to establish demand, to inform decisions about learning and skills provision and to underpin agreed indicators of success.
  • The need for a clear and agreed process through which the two agencies can jointly prioritise skills investment: this should draw on the evidence base described above, the operational capacity of providers, and the priorities expressed by Scottish Ministers. The process should recognise the contribution from other partners such as local government and regional economic partnerships.
  • A governance mechanism , through which SDS and SFC can discuss and endorse these agreements and which supports the Strategic Board's aims and expectations through the joint planning and joint delivery focus of the organisations.
  • The need for a common monitoring and evaluation framework , informed by the Analytical Unit, the Strategic Board's single Strategic Plan and Scottish Government's development of its National Performance Framework.


Our vision is for the skills services to be fully aligned to deliver the learning and skills necessary for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.


  • Learners will be able to access provision which enables them to develop the skills required to contribute to a highly productive workforce.
  • Employers will experience reductions in skills gaps and improvements in the skills of their workforce.
  • Through collaboration, the capacity of colleges, universities and training providers will be developed and deployed to maximum effect.
  • Duplication in public funding will be addressed, leading to more efficient investment in human capital through our education and skills system, and the upskilling and reskilling of existing workers.


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