Shared Outcomes Assurance Group minutes: papers 4 May 2022

Associated papers for the Shared Outcomes Assurance Group meeting on 4 May 2022.

SOAG/22/01 - Foundation Apprenticeships

SOAG/22/02 - Graduate Apprenticeships

FA and GA delivery

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • new governance arrangements agreed and SG attending first JEG on 31 March 2022
  • SFC met with Universities to confirm GA allocations approach for AY22/23 for 1,378 opportunities and indicative allocations issued on 24th March
  • SFC met with Colleges to confirm FA allocations approach for AY22/23 for 2,500 opportunities and indicative allocations issued on 24th March
  • final allocations to SFC key governance meeting - Board decision on 6 May 2022, publication at end of May 2022
  • SDS awards issued to LAs / ILPs for 2,500 FA opportunities and acceptances received
  • progressed with reporting templates, governed through JEG, for future SOAG meetings. SOAG project level logic model submitted
  • FIPS CPD for SFC staff took place

Planned activity over the next period:

  • progress approach to joint production of FA and GA annual progress reports and confirm timelines for publication
  • policy decisions to be confirmed and communicated to SAAS as and when applications for SAAS open
  • progress work on systems mapping to inform JEG decision on systems for AY22/23 to provide MI to support inter-operations to manage FA and GA delivery
  • final allocations for FA and GA to be issued end of May
  • progress inter-operations arrangements and activity across 7 work streams for update at next JEG 

SOAG/22/03 Developing the Education and Skills Economic and Social Impact Framework (ESIF)

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • overview of ESIF and high level findings presented to ESSB on 25 March 2022
  • SDS/SFC and partners reviewing proposals for next steps of ESIF to bring back to SOAG
  • economic Impact (EI) - Economic returns and ROI for individuals, employers (MAs only) and the Exchequer completed and shared with Collaborative Group
  • ROI model results delivered by consultants to partners and training on how to use the model going forward delivered on 26 April 2022
  • social Impact (SI) - Phase 1 report on individual well-being drafted and high level results shared with Collaborative Group
  • expert group reviewed and input to phase 1 approach and findings
  • additional analysis of APS data underway
  • primary research plan in development (delayed previously due to Covid)

Planned activity over the next period:

  • further workshop planned with ESSB, in relation to the ESIF overview, scheduled to go ahead on 3 May 2022
  • agree key messages and outputs
  • develop collaborate research plan for measuring social/wellbeing impact (for consideration as part of overall research plans A 8.0) 
  • assess secondary data sources on societal benefits
  • continue to develop communications plan
  • review and development of future research (ESIF 2.0) April 2022 onwards 

SOAG/22/04 - North East Regional Skills Alignment Pathfinder

SOAG/22/05 - South of Scotland Regional Skills Alignment Pathfinder

Progress since last meeting of SOAG

Progress with development of work packages and agreed outputs 

Project resourcing:

  • conclusion of recruitment exercise – appointment of Project Manager, Stakeholder engagement lead and Project Governance officer

Consultancy support:

  • invitation to Tender issued for work package 1


  • first meeting of Regional Delivery Boards to be scheduled for May

Work package 1 - Data and analysis: An understanding of current skills provision, unmet demand, available data and other evidence

  • an analysis of provision across colleges, universities and private training providers within the region and how it relates to the needs of learners and employers, and wider economic and social drivers. This will include an exploration of provision that is work-based or that includes projects or practical interactions with employers as part of the course design
  • early work with SFC analytical team to identify key data sets and match work package priorities
  • identification of key data sets held by partners – engagement with SDS
  • linkage with CESAP Pathfinder through weekly catch ups

Work package 2 - Regional priorities: Developing approaches to provision planning at a regional level, identifying early areas for action, advancing collaboration, deepening strategic connections with employers, piloting new ways of working

  • continued engagement with regional stakeholders and institutions in preparation for first meetings of the Regional Delivery Boards
  • Regional Delivery Boards will consider suggestions received to date from partners of potential collaborative pilot projects addressing regional skills priorities

Work package 3 - Process analysis: An understanding of provision planning and curriculum design, the links to employers and other key partners and the impact on learner journey

  • continued engagement with stakeholders to articulate programme plan – including Process analysis aspect of work package 3 and request for exemplars

Work package 4 - Learning and Dissemination

  • further consideration of insight pieces from leading academics and practitioners

Consultancy Support:

  • a brief was developed for an external commission to undertake work package 1 and this has been published on Public Contracts Scotland site

Project resourcing

  • SFC has continued to build the dedicated Pathfinder team and prioritise resource in this area. Staff have been re-allocated to focus on the project exclusively and a further two posts have been recruited to Stakeholder Engagement Officer and Governance Officer to strengthen the team
  • recruitment of a Project Manager was unsuccessful at first attempt and additional options to fill this role are being explored

Planned activity over the next period

Project resourcing:

  • conclusion of recruitment exercise for Pathfinder team – recruitment for Project Manager resource to be concluded

Consultancy support:

  • appointment of consultants to lead on work package 1


  • meeting of Regional Delivery Boards and National Advisory Board 

SOAG/22/06 - Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP) Net Zero

SOAG/22/07 - Pathfinder Commercial and Domestic Heat in Buildings 

Work package 1

Action 1: Deliver and maintain a comprehensive picture and evidence-based assessment of skills demand

Action 1.1 Developing a definition of green jobs  

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • milestones reached include: completion of analysis of labour market supply of green occupations; completion of analysis of demand through green jobs vacancies; delivery of draft report and supporting documents and data

Planned activity over the next period:

  • developing definition of green jobs work due to be completed 31 May. SLWG (sub group of ISG) meeting to review outputs on 27th January 2022.

Action 1.2 ‘Green’ Investment Mapping  

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • research paper has been prioritised to map out green investment

Planned activity over the next period:

  • research brief to be finalised and research contract to be awarded for green investment mapping

Action 2: Comprehensive mapping of skills provision across colleges, universities, and through apprenticeships and upskilling/reskilling 

Action 2.1 Developing a taxonomy of ‘green provision’ 

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • actions to develop a taxonomy of 'green provision' have commenced
  • a standing weekly progress/delivery meeting is diarised and a MS Teams channel is in place to support communication (this meeting supporting across actions 2.1 to 2.5)

Planned activity over the next period:

  • further weekly progress/delivery meetings to take place

Action 2.2 Developing a Process Map of ‘Green Provision’  

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • SDS and SFC working collaboratively on the definition of green provision. A high-level process map has been developed
  • a standing weekly progress/delivery meeting is diarised and a MS Teams channel is in place to support communication (this meeting supporting across actions 2.1 to 2.5)

Planned activity over the next period:

  • further work planned to fully define green provision

Action 2.8 mapping employer investment in green skills 

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • initial review of evidence to inform employer investment in Green skills completed

Planned activity over the next period:

  • mapping of employer investment in green skills due to be completed by 31 May

Work package 2

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • SDS has shared the draft of WP2 with SFC and SG partners for comment. Meeting arranged for 29/03/2022 to discuss the approach in more detail and consider partner resource contribution and timelines

Planned activity over the next period:

  • finalisation and agreement of the approach, resource contribution and timelines to facilitate the programme of work 

SOAG/22/08 – lifelong upskilling and reskilling update  

Progress since last meeting of SOAG:

  • we have had further internal discussions about how we define the Adult Upskilling and Reskilling Project as part of SOAG and are proposing that while the new Lifetime Skills offer is under development, for consistency with other projects, we focus reporting on the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) as the key upskilling and reskilling programme for which SDS and SFC have shared delivery responsibility

FWDF update

  • the FWDF Operational Group met on 21st April and the Strategic Group met on 3 May 2022 to discuss progress on delivery
  • final delivery figures for Year 4 (AY 20/21) are being collated following extended delivery completing in March 2022. This was delayed as a result of Covid-19 to enable employers more time to undertake training. SFC will return final FES report within next two weeks
  • year 5 (AY 21/22) delivery is also underway. Although some colleges were still to return bi-monthly monitoring forms at end March 2022, this appears to be progressing better than the two previous years
  • at the operational meeting, it was agreed that partners would undertake some further promotion of FWDF to enterprise networks and that we will arrange a visit for Mr Hepburn to a business accessing FWDF via the SDS route
  • an Evaluation of FWDF to inform the future of the Fund in the context of work to develop a new Lifetime Skills offer is progressing alongside a separate evaluation of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs)
  • wider stakeholder consultations have been completed and the employer survey was recently launched, with 20 interviews completed as of 21 April 2022. EKOS are yet to engage with employees and the evaluation work does not look like it will be completed within the initially agreed timescales (end May 2022). Delays are a result of EKOS establishing data sharing protocols with colleges (now resolved)

Wider upskilling and reskilling update

  • National Transition Training Fund (NTTF) delivery for 21/22 is ongoing until August 2022. In the most recent round of partner reports projects had cumulatively reported supporting 6,125 individuals in addition to 274 employers. Demand is varying across projects with some projects projecting lower than anticipated volumes
  • North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF) delivery for 21/22 is ongoing until September 2022. Recent reports showed that projects had supported 1264 individuals and 118 employers. Partners are largely reporting strong demand and positive results to date
  • the first project steering group meeting for the new Lifetime Skills mission was held on 12 April 2022. Work is ongoing to refine project objectives and scope including understanding key target audience to inform research and evidence requirements

Planned activity over the next period:

  • continued FWDF Year 5 delivery
  • meeting with EKOS in May for an update on FWDF evaluation progress and revised timescales for completion
  • continued NTTF and NEERSF delivery
  • further work to agree problem definition and scope for new Lifetime Skills offer and to commence wider stakeholder engagement
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