Skills delivery landscape: call for evidence

This call for evidence paper seeks stakeholder views on Scotland’s skills system. The information gathered will help to inform recommendations to Ministers by James Withers, the Advisor to the Independent Review of the Skills Delivery Landscape.

Part 7 – Employer Support and Engagement

Employers play a critical role in skills delivery: advising on the professional and occupational standards which underpin qualifications; supporting delivery of work-based learning pathways and work-integrated learning opportunities; helping to inform provision planning at local, regional and national level; workforce planning; and investing in the upskilling needs of their workforce.

Employer investment in training has declined over the last decade. In 2020, less than a quarter (22.3%) of Scotland’s working age population in employment reported receiving job-related training within the last 3 months. In a challenging fiscal environment, the Scottish Government has indicated a need to ensure that the public and private sectors are working together to invest in the skills needs of the economy and workforce.

SDS currently provides support to employers and industry with workforce planning and skills development including through its advisory services, administration and promotion of apprenticeship programmes, Skills for Growth programme, and Growth and Inward Investment Fund. It maintains relationships with sectors and industries and also runs the PACE programme which supports those businesses facing administration with redundancy support for individuals through its careers’ services.

In 2014 Scottish Government established the employer led Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Network as part of its Youth Employment Strategy. The network comprises 20 regional employer led boards and its focus is on bringing about permanent improvement in the relationship between employers and young people in education. It is supported by a National Team, and Scottish Government provides funding for the groups which it has committed to maintain until 2025.

Question 22: Do you have any evidence about how the current arrangements for employer engagement in skills and education are supporting delivery of Scottish Government’s ambitions and outcomes?

Question 23: Thinking about the different aspects of the system in which employers have an interest, and the existing mechanisms for feeding into policy and delivery, do you have any evidence to support how changes in the delivery landscape could improve the partnership working between Scottish Government, its public bodies and employers?

Question 23 is the final question of this call for evidence. You can access and respond online to this call for evidence at:

If you have any questions about this exercise, please send them to

The Respondent Information Form is available in the supporting files.



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