Land-based Learning Review report: SG response

The Scottish Government response to the Independent Commission for the Land-Based Learning Review that reported to Ministers with 22 recommendations to attract and equip more people, particularly women and young people, with the skills and knowledge needed to work in land-based and aquaculture sectors.

Context : Post School Education and Skills

Since the Commission was asked to undertake their Review in 2021/22, there have been a number of other reports published that will have implications for the future of education and skills in Scotland. In particular, the Skills Delivery Landscape Review[7] made recommendations for significant reform of the post-school system including the public body landscape, skills planning processes, funding of post-school provision and employer and industry engagement. The Commission also raised similar matters, including on adapting the education and skills system to be more responsive and agile so it is able to better support our economic needs and ambition.

The basis of many recommendations in the Skills Delivery Landscape Review have been accepted by Ministers in the Initial Priorities Paper[8] that accompanies the Purpose and Principles for Post-School Education, Research and Skills [9] June 2023. This commits to a broad programme of post-school reform focused on developing an education and skills landscape that will meet the needs of Scotland’s people, equipping them to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that they will need to take up roles in a prosperous wellbeing economy.

Along with work underway to create new national education bodies, and in responding to the final report of the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment[10], we are about to embark on a programme of widespread, holistic reform of education and skills in Scotland. This context has shaped how we respond to and will act on the Commission’s Review recommendations.

Whilst there is much to celebrate in Scotland’s education and skills system, a growing set of social and economic factors mean we must transform our assumptions, structures and delivery models if we are to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead. They include globalisation; the need to transition to a fairer, greener world; the pace of discovery and technological advancement; the impact of the pandemic including the lessons of rapid response and scientific discovery; demographic changes and the changing expectations of students and of employers. All point towards the need for system-wide reform to ensure Scotland’s education and skills system can deliver for the needs of learners while contributing to economic prosperity and demonstrating better value and benefit for our society. Many of these challenges are shared across sectors and geographies and were identified by the Commission in their report to Ministers.

As we embark on this reform journey, we will need to consider the requirements of the different professions, sectors and industries that make up Scotland’s economy now and, in the future, including those that have been the subject of this Review. Scotland’s education and skills cannot and should not be developed and delivered by government alone. This “critical national infrastructure” has to be developed, delivered and maintained by government, public bodies, industry bodies and employers. We are committed to working with stakeholders, employees and learners across the land-based and aquaculture sectors to fully consider options for delivering and progressing the response to the recommendations outlined in the Review of Land-based learning in line with our wider work on education and skills reform. In doing so, we heed the advice of James Withers who has argued for a need to ensure that skills development is fully embedded within our learning system to deliver the right people to the right roles across Scotland.



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