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Work-based learning and apprenticeships also play a central role in the Future Skills Action Plan, which outlines the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland’s skills system.

Scottish Government worked in close collaboration with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to develop the Action Plan, which builds on the Strategic Plan of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board.

The strategy reinforces the view set out in SDS’s Skills 4.0 – A skills model to drive Scotland’s Future that people’s ‘meta-skills’ are vital to ensure individuals and industry can adapt within a rapidly changing economic landscape.

Meta-skills are the human skills such as communication, teamwork and creativity that create adaptive learners.

Shannon MacNamara GA Aberdeen Standard

Further development of Graduate Apprenticeships

Work-based learning is to be made an integral part of the skills offer and this includes a vital role in a focus on retraining and upskilling employees.

SDS will work with Scottish Government, SFC, colleges, universities and employers to develop a wide range of in-work retraining and upskilling opportunities including the further development of Graduate Apprenticeships.

The Plan also sets out a vision to introduce greater flexibility in the delivery of apprenticeships, while retaining the quality of the training they provide, in response to industry and learner demand.

Upskilling and reskilling to reduce skills gaps

SDS Chair Frank Mitchell said: “This plan outlines how we will create a more responsive system led by government and employers that drives upskilling and reskilling to reduce skills gaps, increase resilience and boost productivity.”

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Scotland’s highly skilled workforce ensures we are an ambitious, productive and competitive nation.

“While we already have a strong skills system in place, further change is needed to enable us to move forward confidently. This includes considering what skills provision is required and how we ensure the system is both agile and sustainable.

“The Future Skills Action Plan clearly signals our intention to invest more in the skills of those already in work, while promoting a culture of shared investment with employers in Scotland’s future workforce.”


More information

Find the Future Skills Action Plan on the Scottish Government's website here

For more information on work-based learning and apprenticeships visit

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