Skip to main
03 November 2022

Skills for a Changing World

New Strategic Plan offers blueprint for tackling economic challenges

Our organisation
Skills Development Scotland Julie Ann Murray 0022

Helping more people develop industry-focused skills to drive productivity and equality is at the heart of a new plan from Scotland’s national skills agency.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has launched its latest Strategic Plan, setting out its priorities for the next five years.

Entitled Skills for a Changing World, the Plan offers a vision of an agile, dynamic, employer-led skills and career ecosystem able to take advantage of economic opportunity.

Aligned to the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, goals include building greater flexibility in apprenticeships, enhancing Scotland’s customer-focussed careers service and further developing the role for employers in the skills and careers system.

I am pleased to see the publication of this strategy which sets out SDS’s plans for the delivery of skills support and interventions to develop our young workforce of the future

Jamie Hepburn

Minister for Youth Employment and Training

Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn said: "I am determined to ensure people from all over Scotland have opportunities to build their confidence, gain industry insight and develop valuable skills which the economy needs both now and in the future.

"We need a skills system which will meet the demands of an ever-changing world, with digital transformation, automation and our obligation to work towards net zero likely to mean a new kind of economy in the future.

"I am pleased to see the publication of this strategy which sets out SDS’s plans for the delivery of skills support and interventions to develop our young workforce of the future.”

The Plan comes as SDS works with Scottish Government on an Independent Review of the Skills Delivery Landscape, led by former CEO of Scotland Food and Drink, James Withers, with the aim of further improving how SDS works with partners and stakeholders for the benefit of end-users.

Skills For A Changing World Video

Frank Mitchell, SDS Chair, said: “This is a plan which is relevant to all of Scotland’s people and businesses.

“The myriad of challenges our economy faces, from automation and digitisation to skills shortages, inflation and the move to net zero will have implications for everyone.

“All sectors of our economy will have a growing demand for upskilling and retraining to cope with these changes, and as we tackle these, it’s absolutely essential we support those facing the greatest disadvantages so they are not left behind in the midst of economic change.

“Our Strategic Plan offers a blueprint for achieving this, and with the support of our partners, I’m confident with the support of the Scottish Government we can make it a reality.”

SDS is also publishing its Annual Operating Plan for 2022-23 which further details how SDS will deliver its services during the year.

Publication of the Strategic Plan was welcomed by a range of stakeholders including FSB Scotland.

Director of Devolved Nations Colin Borland said: “The labour market has never been more challenging for Scotland’s small business community, particularly those firms historically reliant on EU labour to deliver their products and services.

“Addressing barriers to participation in the labour market and creating a more inclusive talent pool is a key aspect of Skills Development Scotland’s future strategy and welcomed by FSB Scotland’s members.”