Post-school education, research and skills - interim purpose and principles: discussion guide

A discussion guide to support feedback on the framework for building an excellent post-school education, research and skills ecosystem for Scotland.

Principle Four – Agile and Responsive

This section will support session participants to consider the principle of "Agile and Responsive" and the policy options available to support the delivery of this principle in Scotland today and in the future.

Question 4.1

  • Do you agree with inclusion of and language of the principle of Agile and Responsive?

Question 4.2

  • This principle is about the ability of the ecosystem to respond to global and domestic drivers.
  • How do you think we can best support the ecosystem to be agile and responsive to the future needs of Scotland?

Principle Four – Facilitators Notes

  • Section Four allows participants to consider the principle of "Agile and Responsive".
  • Facilitators are encouraged to support groups to discuss the questions before summarising and sharing the output of their discussions.
  • Depending on the group, the two questions could be discussed in turn, or alternatively the participants could be grouped and allocated different questions to explore.

Question 4.1, could be considered in two parts:

  • 4.1 (a) Do you agree that this is an important principle that should be included as part of the Purpose and Principles?
  • 4.1 (b) Do you have any thoughts on the language or framing of this principle?

In considering question 4.1, participants could be provided with the following scaffolding to support their thinking and any discussion. For example:

  • What does agile and responsive mean to you in your role in the broader ecosystem or Scotland's wellbeing economy more generally?
  • Is this the right description of the principle of agile and responsive? Is there anything missing that you would expect to see?

Question 4.2, could be considered in two parts:

  • 4.2 (a) What kind of an ecosystem would we need to have to be agile and responsive to changing demands? What sort of delivery would you expect to see, and in what ways could this be designed so it can be agile and responsive to different types of demands over different timescales, this could be something sudden like a pandemic or something longer term like the transition to net zero or rural and island perspectives?
  • 4.2 (b) Do you have any examples of good practice of this principle or identifiable areas for improvement?

In considering question 4.2, participants could be provided with the following scaffolding to support their thinking and any discussion. For example:

  • How do we ensure the ecosystem remains sensitive and responsive to local, regional, national and international requirements, including the role of colleges and universities as civic anchors as part of community wealth building?
  • How do we ensure the working relationships of the different parts of the ecosystem at all levels allow the ecosystem to initiate, respond and deliver to changing demands?
  • How do we support skills alignment in Scotland, including successful skills planning in response to labour market needs?
  • How does the ecosystem support the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce? How can this best be delivered and incentivised? Who pays for what and when?
  • How can employers best be supported and incentivised to develop apprenticeships, invest in in-work training and development of staff and to build relationships with colleges, universities and community learning and development providers?



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