The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all of our lives over the past two years. The Scottish Government's highest priority has been to lead Scotland safely through this crisis and alleviate the harm that the virus has caused to our health, our society, and our economy. As Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, I am acutely aware of the challenges that the pandemic has created for individuals and businesses across Scotland, as well as the inequalities in the labour market that it has both highlighted and exacerbated.
In this context, I have been committed to driving the development of skills interventions that address these challenges and inequalities to meet the needs of Scotland's workforce and employers, and ensure a fairer, more equal economic recovery. As we move forward, we must ensure that we develop a culture of lifelong learning that builds on the strong foundations we have established with appropriate support to deliver training opportunities that develop the skills that individuals and businesses need now, and in the future.
We introduced the National Transition Training Fund (NTTF) on 8 October 2020, to respond quickly to changing circumstances at the beginning of the pandemic. In the face of uncertainty about how the labour market would be affected by Covid-19, £25 million was made available to support individuals who had been made redundant, or were at risk of redundancy, to retain their jobs and develop the skills required to move into sectors with the greatest potential for future growth and job opportunities, in line with the ambitions of the Scottish Government's Future Skills Action Plan. Support was also made available for sectors most affected by the pandemic, such as aviation and tourism.
I am delighted that NTTF has been able to support over 9,400 individuals in the past year. From this report, it is evident that the Fund has provided valuable support to individuals facing redundancy across a breadth of industries and has had a considerable impact on the provision of skills within Scotland's hardest hit sectors. It has also targeted the supply of skills in sustainable green jobs supporting Scotland's transition to a net zero economy, and delivering against the ambitions of our Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan.
This positive work is continuing during Year 2 of NTTF which is providing further support to individuals and sectors until July 2022. Skills development is a critical component of Scotland's recovery from the pandemic and future growth. As a key objective of the forthcoming National Strategy for Economic Transformation, our ambition is to ensure our people have the skills they need at every stage of life to meet the demands of the economy and society and to navigate transitions in their careers enabling Scotland to fulfil its enormous economic potential.
Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training
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