View key elements from the action plan in this overview section.


Scotland’s highly skilled workforce ensures we are an ambitious, productive and competitive nation. Scotland’s skills system will be the foundation on which we will deliver these ambitions, supporting our people through-out their working lives, and empowering our business to take advantage of future opportunities. A culture of shared investment in Scotland’s future workforce will unlock the potential of our people and businesses to deliver inclusive growth.


To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth

National Performance Framework indicators

  • Economy - we have a globally competitive, entrepeneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • Environment - we value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment
  • Fair Work and Business - we have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone
  • Poverty - we tackle poverty by sharing wealth and power more equally
  • Education - We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society

Strategic labour market outcomes:

  • Skilled and productive workforce
  • Sustainable working population
  • High employment and low unemployment
  • Equal opportunities
  • Fair work

Inclusive growth priorities:

  • High employment
  • Growing and competitive businesses
  • A skilled population capable of meeting employer needs
  • Fair work being central to improving the lives of individuals and families

Scotland's Future Skills Action Plan: themes and actions

Increased system agility and employer responsiveness

  • Develop and promote the definition and understanding of meta skills
  • Publish a Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan
  • Effective Brexit response, including retaining and attracting talent to address skills gaps and labour market shortages
  • Enhance the delivery of graduate apprenticeships available in critical subjects
  • Pilot programme to test approaches to ecommerce skills development

More Opportunities to Upskill and retrain

  • CBI/STUC leading Scottish National Retraining Partnership
  • Increase investment in workforce development to £20m per annum from 2020/21
  • Improve access to work-based learning, education and skills training across the rural economy
  • Publish a careers strategy later in 2019 to support learners and workers in making more informed career choices
  • The development of advanced manufacturing modules through the National Manufacturing Institiute for Scotland (NMIS)

Ensuring financial sustainability of the system

  • Skills Investment in City and Regional Growth Deals
  • Implement Fair Work First to ensure skills and training are key considerations in the award of business support funding
  • Skills Development Scotland/Scottish Funding Council to deliver greater alignment of investment
  • Utilise data sharing across the skills and enterprise systems, to improve how resources are allocated

Accelerate Learner Journey Recommendations

  • Make work based learning an integral part of the skills offer
  • Enhance pathways from the college sector into graduate apprenticeships
  • Strengthen community-based adult learning provision
  • Continue to support industry-led Developing the Young Workforce Employer Groups