We recognise that these are concerning times and that many individuals and businesses are worried about the impact that the unprecedented disruption of COVID-19 is causing. 

Our absolute priority is supporting individuals, employers, partners and colleagues through the effects of the pandemic. 

Click through the headings below for FAQs offering advice, support and relevant contact information for individuals, pupils, learners, apprentices, businesses and training and learning providers. You can also view our service offer amid COVID-19.

Our services amid COVID-19

Our services remain open and accessible, however the nature of our delivery is changing in response to public health advice.   

If you are worried about the short-term impact of COVID-19 on your employment please contact the PACE helpline on 0800 917 8000. 

Career Information, Advice and Guidance 

In line with public health advice our network of public access centres is temporarily closing and with the closure of schools, our careers advisers will no longer be accessible through school. 

In order to maintain services to all our customers at this critical time, one-to-one contact with careers advisers will still be available online and over the phone. 

If you are worried about the short-term impact of COVID-19 on your employment please contact the PACE helpline on 0800 917 8000. 

For broader support with career information, advice and guidance – to speak to an adviser by calling your local SDS team or visiting myworldofwork.co.uk   

Employer support 

The Scottish Government have established a helpline as a first point of contact for employers. The helpline number is 0300 303 0660 and is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. 

Advice and support for employers covering a broad range of topics affecting business continuity is available at findbusinesssupport.gov.scot 

Redundancy support 

The Scottish Government’s Partnership for Continuing Employment (PACE) is a well-established service to support individuals and employers dealing with redundancy.  

To find out more visit redundancyscotland.co.uk  

To speak to our PACE team please call us on 0800 917 8000.

We are working with Scottish Government and other partners to ensure our PACE delivery is responsive to the emerging situation and we will keep this website updated with the latest advice and guidance. 

Scottish Apprenticeships and other training programmes 

SDS is providing measures to reduce disruption to training providers and contract holders to advise and support them in delivery of apprenticeships.  

We recognise that Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices, as well as learners on other SDS training programmes, may have questions about certification and completion.  We also recognise that as employers and learning providers respond to the current situation, work-based learning practices are highly likely to be disrupted. 

SDS is working with SQA and other awarding bodies to support their guidance for individuals and learning providers to ensure that the effects of disruption are minimised and that wherever possible, apprentices and learners are not negatively impacted in the long term. 

In the short term:  

  • Employers are advised to keep in regular contact with your learning provider e.g. college, university or training facility for advice on delivery and support. 
  • Modern and Graduate Apprentices should follow the guidance provided by their learning provider e.g. college, university or training centre, along with the advice of their employer. 
  • Foundation Apprentices or their parents should follow school guidance for questions related to work placements, colleges or learning providers. 
  • Learners on Employability Fund please follow the guidance provided by your training provider. 

Further guidance for training providers is available on our Training Provider section. Skills Investment Advisers, Development Delivery Executive or Contracts and Performance Adviser are also able to provide support. 

Contacting SDS

Please note that in line with public health advice, many of our staff are working from home at present therefore there may be a delay in receiving correspondence through the postal system.  Urgent correspondence can be sent to corporate.affairs@sds.co.uk in the short term. 

To minimise disruption we are also encouraging suppliers to send invoices and/or supplier statements electronically for goods/services delivered to Skills Development Scotland. To facilitate prompt payment we would prefer finance correspondence to now sent by e-mail to finance@sds.co.uk

Our telephone and email systems are operational as usual, including our customer helpline which can be reached on 0800 917 8000.

Pandemic Plan

SDS has published a plan detailing its response to the pandemic.