We will deliver better skills alignment between where we know there is demand for skills and the funded provision of skills to reduce gaps in critical areas and drive improvements in productivity and growth. We know that skill shortages have impacts on:

  • business performance through increased workloads for other staff
  • meeting customer services objectives
  • operating costs
  • ability to quickly develop new products and services
  • our ability to secure inward investment
  • our ability to innovate and make best use of data and technology

Our commitment to a Just Transition commission to meet our net-zero targets is hugely reliant on us developing the right skills in order to be able to do this, now and in the future.

We believe there is scope for closer alignment between the delivery of Graduate and Foundation Apprenticeships and the core provision in colleges and universities supported by the Scottish Funding Council, underpinned by the skills alignment model currently being developed. Together with the SFC and Skills Development Scotland, we are building the evidence base on business and individual demand in order to assess the type and mix of provision required across the skills system.

We will work with partners to implement the Skills Action Plan for Rural Scotland to support the skills needs of the rural economy particularly those most likely to be impacted by EU Exit such as tourism. We will do so by addressing skills shortages, talent retention and attraction, and demographic challenges. We will also consider how we will ensure the rural economy is able to take full advantage of digital opportunities by having the right skills and support capabilities.