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A group from New Zealand was the latest set of international visitors to see Skills Development Scotland’s work.

New Zealand’s Industry Training Federation representatives were impressed by SDS’s vision and the developments made since their first visit in 2014.

Federation Chief Executive Josh Williams, then a Policy Manager at the New Zealand Ministry of Education said: “I remember sitting on the plane on the way home and thinking how can we replicate this in New Zealand?”

“I was most impressed with the way Skills Development Scotland was integrating the provision of advice and guidance at school with wider skills development and work-based learning.” 

 

Josh and a group of vocational education and training colleagues spent two days at SDS.

They were keen to find out more about developments in the apprenticeship family – including new Foundation and Graduate Level Apprenticeships – and how to put employers at the centre of the skills system.

He said: “We wanted to find out more about how Foundation Apprenticeships provide a high quality work-based programme within schools and in the development of Graduate Level Apprenticeships with strong employer involvement in the design of the frameworks.”

Scottish Government has committed to 5000 Foundation Apprenticeship by the end of 2019 and the expansion of Graduate Level Apprenticeships.

 

 

“I was most impressed with the way Skills Development Scotland was integrating the provision of advice and guidance at school with wider skills development and work-based learning.”

Josh said: “New Zealand is highly regarded internationally for its vocational system but our visit to SDS and learning more about Scotland’s “Apprenticeships Family” including Foundation and Graduate Level Apprenticeships, has given us a lot of food for thought around how we articulate pathways and offer more work-based learning at all levels in New Zealand.”

During the visit, the New Zealand delegation also discussed the work SDS has been doing on the learner journey and skills pathways – which Josh had pioneered in his home country – and on the future of skills and apprenticeships.

The group also spoke to David Coyne, Programme Director for the Centre for Work-based Learning and heard first hand from those who are leading the Graduate Level Apprenticeship programmes at Heriot-Watt University. They also visited the Scottish Funding Council.

Josh said: “We’ve been really impressed with everything we’ve seen and heard from SDS. It’s nice to see the progress that SDS has been made in what were ideas just three years ago.”

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