Summary

Recognising the importance of lifelong learning, retraining and upskilling.


Between 2016-2041, Scotland’s working age population is expected to grow by 1% compared with 8% in the UK. This trend is one reason why we need to enhance access to upskilling, reskilling and retraining opportunities so that individuals are able to successfully gain new skills regardless of age or current qualification levels.

Job-related training in Scotland has steadily declined over the last 15 years. Reversing this trend creates an opportunity to reinforce a culture of investment in human capital as a means of both increasing productivity and ensure both Scottish employers and employees are prepared for new and potentially unpredicted challenges and opportunities ahead.

We will work with business, and other system stakeholders, to encourage investment in workforce development by employers in Scotland.

Next steps

2.1) Through the National Retraining Partnership with CBI Scotland and Scottish Trade Unions Congress we will engage businesses, workers and wider stakeholders to identify how reskilling and upskilling opportunities can deliver the skills needs of Scotland’s future workforce.

2.2) Following the completion of Skills Development Scotland’s Careers Information and Guidance Review, we will publish a Careers Strategy later in 2019 to support learners and workers in making more informed career choices through-out their lives.

2.3) Through the Skills Action Plan for Rural Scotland we are improving access to work-based learning, education and skills training across the rural economy.

2.4) We will provide more opportunities for the current workforce to upskill and reskill, and improve the delivery of those opportunities to both employers and workers. This includes a greater variety of short-term/flexible learning opportunities.

As a first step, we will increase our investment in workforce development to £20m per annum from 2020/21 to drive the alignment of our support for the existing workforce, recognising the potential this creates to leverage additional support for those in work.

This will build on our current investment of £10m in the FWDF and better support those who are already in work and utilising schemes such as ITAs

2.5) As it becomes established, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) Manufacturing Skills Academy will develop a catalogue of advanced manufacturing modules to understand and cater to needs across the sector.