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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The challenges and opportunities facing the Scottish skills system

Join IPPR Scotland and the Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL) for a panel event on the current and future challenges and opportunities facing the Scottish skills system.

This will take place from 12.30 - 15.00 (refreshments served from 12.30 - 13.00) at Dynamic Earth, 112 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS. The event will include representative from all of the main political parties in Scotland including:

  • Jenny Gilruth MSP, Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
  • Jamie Greene MSP, Scottish Conservatives Spokesperson for Technology, Connectivity and the Digital Economy
  • Daniel Johnson MSP, Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Education
  • Ross Greer MSP, Scottish Greens Spokesperson for Education & Skills; Culture & Media; International Development & External Affairs
  • Tavish Scott MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Education and Sport

The chair will be Julia Belgutay for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland.

The event will follow a Question Time-style format and there will be a short introduction from Russell Gunson, Director of IPPR Scotland, and Dame Ruth Silver, founding President of FETL, on IPPR Scotland and FETL’s recent report on the future of the skills system in Scotland.

Developing a skills system that meets the needs of an ever changing labour market is one of the biggest challenges faced by the Scottish government over the coming years. Scotland currently faces challenges around productivity, progression and pay, and more generally economic growth, and a future outlook that will likely see fiscal constraint continue for some time in the public sector. In the longer term as technological and demographic changes alter our economy and society, the demands on the skills system will change as people work longer, in multiple careers and for multiple employers.

In January, IPPR Scotland published a report Equipping Scotland for the Future, supported by FETL. The report sets out the substantial changes that have taken place in the skills system in Scotland in recent years and outlines the key challenges it will face in the future including from demographic and technological changes. The report brings together six priority areas for action to prepare the skills system for these challenges:

  • embedding an outcome approach and setting a clear national purpose of the skills system
  • regional integration of the skills system
  • clarifying roles of learning routes within the skills system
  • learners and employers co-designing a responsive skills system
  • improving flexibility of learning
  • increasing transferability of learning.

This event aims to increase cross-party discussion and generate ideas for the future of the skills system in Scotland.

Sign up now using the form below.