Three year strategy sets clear path for skills in Scotland

26th June 2012

Scotland’s national skills body, Skills Development Scotland, has set out a plan to power the circuit between job seekers and employers in its three year corporate strategy published today.

SDS chair John McClelland said:

“The current economic climate presents challenges but opportunities are emerging in many key sectors including engineering, renewables, tourism, food and drink and life sciences. SDS is fully engaging with employers to ensure our training and learning provision corresponds to their needs.

“Our economy will only benefit if we get our young people enthused and trained for these growth industries. By combining the expertise of our staff with new technology, such as our web service My World of Work, we can ensure everyone in Scotland gets the chance to realise their potential, and every employer can depend on a skilled workforce to take their industries forward.”

Central to this is a commitment to fund at least 75,000 more Modern Apprenticeships over the next three years benefiting both individuals and businesses.

Preparing young people to be sought after by employers will be a key priority for the organisation between 2012-15. A modernised SDS will see the latest technology, training and labour market research used to ensure more young people than ever before get the right support to help them build lasting careers.

Provision of career information advice and guidance is being expanded beyond face-to-face and telephone services. Responding to customer preferences, My World of Work will support many to manage their own careers. This will free up SDS staff to offer one-to-one support to those furthest from the labour market.

Changes will see SDS provide more hours of support to more pupils over the coming years and new initiatives introduced such as a national certificate through which young people can properly demonstrate their work-readiness to employers.

SDS intends to engage with employers more closely than ever before. Building on its work with industry advisory boards and employer bodies, SDS will be collaborating with others to compound a public and private sector partnership approach to skills development.

In response to employer needs a new web service will be introduced later this year enabling employers to explore the range of programmes, financial support and resources available to help them plan for, recruit and develop their workforce. Skills investment plans for each of Scotland’s key sectors will set a clear intention for the future helping employers to plan with confidence, while youth employment action plans in local authority areas will support every young person’s opportunity to engage with the labour market.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcome the emphasis in SDS’s new corporate plan on private sector partnership to ensure that Scotland has the skills base required to maximise its potential for economic growth. This strategy ensures that both business and individual needs are met by the Scottish skills offer.  Scottish Chambers of Commerce look forward to working in partnership to deliver the best possible support for the skills needs of Scottish business.”

Damien Yeates, chief executive of SDS, said:

“The way people learn and get information is transforming, as is the world of work. Skills Development Scotland is responding to these changes by providing services in line with customer demand. We are equipping our staff to help those who need it most, and working with employers to meet their needs now and into the future. By linking learning and training with industry needs we plan to create the right conditions for an ambitious economic future.”

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