Our purpose is to drive productivity and inclusive growth through investment in skills, enabling businesses and people to achieve their full potential.

"A nation leading the world in technological innovation and staying true to enduring values of social justice. A country proud of its history and achievements, but equipping itself to seize the opportunities of the future. And a society determined to remain open, inclusive and welcoming in the face of rising forces of intolerance, isolation and protectionism.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

Three year plan

As one of Scotland's enterprise and skills agencies, we have been tasked by the Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board to work collaboratively with the other agencies to help Scotland to move towards the top of the OECD rankings for productivity, equality, wellbeing and sustainability.

Over the next three years, we will work collaboratively with the other Enterprise and Skills agencies to ensure that:

  • All people in Scotland have the skills, information and opportunities to succeed in the labour market.
  • Scotland’s businesses drive productivity and inclusive growth.
  • Scotland has a dynamic and responsive skills system.

Our strategy map for 2019–22 summarises the change we want to achieve, and the actions we will take to progress towards our shared ambition for Scotland

A Human Future

We are also thinking of the longer term, working to understand how we can collectively respond to the changing world and support people and businesses to thrive in 2035

A Human Future

Download the plan

If you'd like to read our Strategic Plan for 2019-22 in full you can download it here. It includes our three year goals, ambition for the future and highlights agency collaboration.

Download here

Influencing the Learning and Skills System

Over the next three years, we'll work to ensure that Scotland has a dynamic and responsive skills system, where skills planning and provision reflects the current and future skills needs of the economy, giving all individual learners and employers the best possible chance of realising their potential.

An efficient skills system encourages people to transition from full-time education into productive, sustainable and meaningful work by the quickest, most expedient route available.

By 2022, we’ll influence the Learning and Skills System by:

  • Strengthening industry and partner ownership of the skills system
  • Building a high-quality evidence base using robust and comprehensive data
  • Influencing the prioritisation of resources in line with the evidence base
  • Define the meta-skills for use in designing future skills provision
  • Ensuring work-based learning is efficient, responsive and future-focused

Find out more about our goals for the Scottish learning and skills system. 

Enabling Scotland’s People

By ensuring the Scottish skills and learning system reflects the current and future skills needs of the economy, we aim to have an adaptive and resilient workforce comprised of individuals who have been equipped with the skills and information they need to achieve their potential. 

By 2022, to help Scotland’s people, we will:

  • Enable learners and workers to make informed learning and career choices
  • Empower people to achieve equitable learning and employment outcomes
  • Provide effective learning pathways into productive employment
  • Help create an increasingly productive and resilient workforce
    for Scotland

Find out more about our goals for enabling people in Scotland 

Mobilising Scotland’s Businesses

Our aim of equipping people in Scotland with the skills and information they need to achieve their potential means that Scottish businesses should, in turn, have high performing, highly productive workplaces, and the capacity to adapt well to change and disruption.

Equally, we want to support and encourage Scotland’s businesses to grow and prosper through investment in skills. We do this by advising employers on effective workforce planning, building resilience to disruption, and creating the conditions for long-term sustainability.

By 2022, to help business, we will:

  • Deliver an aligned and integrated service offer for employers
  • Inspire and enable employers to take a strategic approach to workforce planning
  • Promote the development of productive and innovative workplace practices
  • Drive understanding and adoption of fair work practices:

Find out more about our goals for mobilising Scottish businesses here 

SDS as an Organisation 

Our commitment to continuous improvement remains steadfast as we strive to achieve better outcomes, a better customer experience and enable all of our people to reach their potential.

By 2022, we will improve as an organisation by:

  • Adopting high-performing workplace practices, leading change in others
  • Improving customer experience and customer service through enhanced use of data and technology
  • Make efficient, effective and sustainable use of our resources
  • Drive better outcomes through deeper collaboration and partnership working

Find out more about our goals for our organisation here