The National Transition Training Fund (NTTF) was introduced in 2020 as a direct response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In its first year over 9,000 training opportunities were provided in sectors most impacted by the downturn, supporting staff retention, diversification and training for new and future skills needs.
In its second year, the scope of the programme was expanded. It continued to respond to the impact of the pandemic, while also offering assistance in key sectors affected by EU Exit or sectors with opportunity for growth. Year 2 of the Fund also placed a more significant emphasis on supporting individuals and employers in the transition to net zero. NTTF funding was invested in 33 projects to continue to support individuals and sectors.
With a move to a more sector-based approach, Year 2 saw demand grow for skills provision to support post-pandemic recovery. In addition to the continuation of programmes in aviation, tourism and hospitality, and creative industries, colleges continued to offer a wide range of Skillsboost courses aligned to local labour and skills demand. 10,995 Training opportunities were available through this strand in Year 2.
With a largely rural and agricultural focus, support to address the impact of EU exit resulted in 478 training opportunities available through paid work placements in rural locations, training in forestry, diversification training for crofters and the seafood industries, as well as the continuation of provision by Lantra.
Recognising the changing skills demands in Scotland’s labour market, the strand on Future Skills Transitions saw 5,283 training opportunities in sectors and skills key to our future workforce. This diverse group of projects included childcare, health and social care (child and adult), digital, cyber security and laboratory skills.
The final strand of support focussed on the transition to net zero. This provided 5,510 training places in areas such as climate change awareness for small and medium sized enterprises, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, construction, and engineering. A range of projects directly supporting the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan – Green Jobs Workforce Academy were managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
In Year 2, greater effort was made to gather equality data from course participants. Disclosure was voluntary and there remained some differences in data sought, so it was not possible to offer analysis at individual course or strand level. However, it is encouraging that there was a good balance between male and female participants (53% and 43% respectively). Given the wide age range of participants, with 77% aged over 29, there is clearly a strong unmet demand for upskilling and retraining at all ages.
In total, NTTF provided 22,266 training opportunities between April 2021 and August 2022 supporting 1,916 businesses. Provision was pan-Scotland and sought to address specific needs at geographic as well as sector level. As we take forward reform in post-school education and skills, we must ensure that individuals and sectors are able to gain the skills they need throughout their working lives in response to changing skills needs.
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