Recognising the need for lifelong learning

Key points:

  • Scotland’s Future Skills Action Plan was published in 2019
  • We are developing a Global climate emergency Skills Action Plan
  • Establishing a National Retraining Partnership
  • A third year of the Flexible Workforce Development, and increasing its funding in 2020/21
  • Creating a food and drink academy

We will take forward and deliver the commitments in our Future Skills Action Plan, which was published on 3 September 2019, and make Scotland’s skills system more and responsive, including increasing our investment in Scotland’s workforce by an additional £10m in 20/21. This will recognise the increasing importance of upskilling and reskilling our existing workforce, in line with the opportunities for future economic growth that technological advance and economic change will present. The Plan will also include a more responsive and resilient funding model for work-based learning and the upskilling/retraining agenda, developed in partnership with the SFC and SDS.

Our Global climate emergency Skills Action Plan will set out a framework for skills investment. It will detail how we and other public bodies will work with our agencies and industry to create a supportive and collaborative business environment for research and innovation in new low carbon industries. This will enable us to help people gain the new skills required in areas such as oil and gas decommissioning and offshore wind energy, as well as in the construction and energy efficiencies of our buildings and manufacturing and the decarbonisation of our transport system.

All of the net increase in employment between 2007 and 2018 has been categorised as medium-high or highly-skilled

Recognising the need to support the population of rural areas, we have published a rural skills action plan that seeks to ensure that national frameworks are available across rural Scotland. We will extend the Ringlink pre-apprenticeship programme to 4 other parts of rural Scotland over the next 3 years on a pilot basis.

We will create a Food and Drink Academy to support approximately 20 businesses with high growth potential. It will provide targeted support and advice offering a large cross-sector products to fast track growth. We will launch a new food and drink ecommerce platform for Scottish suppliers to showcase and sell their products in international markets.

We will also take forward a National Retraining Partnership with employers, unions, colleges and universities and training bodies to identify the best collaborative way forward to help workers and businesses prepare for future changes by enabling the workforce to upskill and/or retrain where necessary. This is an example of how we will use partnership to create space for employers, unions and other stakeholders to come together to respond collectively to economic challenges.

In addition we will continue to provide opportunities for the existing workforce through a range of programmes including the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, Individual Training Accounts and the Scottish Union Learning Fund.

Craft beer specialist Brewdog apprenticeship programme

In 2015, Brewdog made use of Skills Development Scotland’s Skills for Growth initiative, which provides free consultancy and support to identify growth priorities.

As a result, the Aberdeenshire-based brewer recruited 20 Modern Apprentices across its business along with a ‘Happiness Manager’ to handle training and development for its predominately young workforce.

In the four years since, BrewDog has raised millions of pounds through equity crowdfunding, opened breweries overseas and is recognised as one of the fastest growing food and drink businesses in the UK.

Now the company is embracing other exciting opportunities through the apprenticeship family by supporting 31-year-old Louise Wyllie through a four-year Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management at Robert Gordon University.

Louise is employed as a senior customer service specialist by the multinational brewery. Her apprenticeship will see her complete an honours degree within the workplace, with the support of a dedicated mentor at BrewDog and support staff at the university.

Louise had been working as a senior UK customer service specialist for three years, before becoming the company’s UK customer service team lead. She sees her apprenticeship as a key part of her career progression.

She said: "I would definitely recommend Graduate Apprenticeships to others who are looking to further their career and expand their experience while working. Being able to take the theory you learn and immediately put it to use in your day job is very rewarding."

We have also introduced Project Lift a new, ambitious, whole-system approach to recruit, retain, develop and manage talent within Health and Social Care in Scotland. It aims to enhance leadership capability and capacity at all levels of seniority by promoting senior workforce development and sustainability, and growing future leaders.

Key resources:

Flexible workforce development fund: first year evaluation

Transition Training Fund