Future skills: action plan

Scotland's Future Skills Action Plan reaffirms the importance of skills in helping individuals reach their potential.

The Future Skills Mission's recommendations

Scotland's Future Skills Action Plan fully endorses the recommendations made by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board's Future Skills Mission as described in their 2018 Strategic Plan.

We are committed to working jointly with both Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and wider partners to coherently deliver on both the actions and recommendations of the Future Skills mission.

They are:


  • Fully implement the joint 5 stage skills alignment planning model, aligning provision with industry needs and critical skills as set out in the demand evidence. SFC and SDS will collaborate further to create a seamless, one system approach for learners, employers and the economy.
  • Define the 'meta skills' required to thrive in the future economy as the basis for future skills provision.


  • Use funding for colleges, universities and training providers to provide more agile support for workers and employers to upskill and reskill, increasing provision of in-work learning. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will jointly plan and deliver new models of provision.
  • Transform our skills system by integrating and expanding existing upskilling and reskilling interventions. This should be aligned with the work of the new National Retraining Partnership and aligned with consideration of a redesign of existing initiatives such as the Individual Training Account and the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.
  • Create a flexible and sustainable funding model to meet the future expansion of demand for both work-based and work-integrated learning (e.g. qualifications and training augmented with work placements or live business projects). SFC and SDS should work together to ensure there is a flexible, and sustainable funding model for all such pathways, in advance of the withdrawal of EU structural funds.
  • Accelerate implementation, and set a timescale for delivery of the Learner Journey Review recommendations, in particular where these reduce duplication and accelerate the pace that people can proceed through the school, college, university and apprenticeship systems, creating more effective pathways to productive employment. SFC and SDS should jointly draft advice to Government on the Learner Journey, including consideration of aligning existing funds.


Email: skillsdevelopment@gov.scot

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