The Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework sets out an ambition to focus on creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

In pursuit of this, the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board has identified how the enterprise and skills agencies can contribute and collectively help Scotland move towards the top quartile of OECD countries for productivity, equality, wellbeing and sustainability.

The Strategic Board’s Strategic Plan outlines how a joint-agency approach is vital, and as part of this approach, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council are working on a programme of skills alignment.

The vision is for an aligned skills service, matching skills provision with the needs of learners, employers and industry to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Together, the agencies are jointly implementing a strategic five-stage skills alignment model to maximise our combined investment in skills provision.

First outlined in Phase 2 of the Enterprise and Skills Review, the skills alignment model is a key priority of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board and a core objective in the Future Skills Action Plan.

Skills Alignment Infographic: Step 1. Demand Assessment, Step 2. Provision Planning, Step 3. Outcome Agreements/Commissioning, Step 4. Performance Management/Reporting, Step 5. Review and Evaluation

This is a ‘user-centric’ model focused on the skills needs of learners and employers as well as the economy as a whole. The aim is to develop the use of learner and employer insight, increase employer engagement across both agencies and enhance the understanding of providers’ capacity.

This will be achieved by harnessing the collective data and insight of SDS and SFC to produce a joint evidence base to inform future investment. By combining the strengths of both agencies and harnessing this shared expertise, Skills Alignment will aim to drive meaningful change.

The potential benefits of this workstream are:

  • learners will be able to access provision, developing the skills needed to contribute to a productive labour market
  • employers will experience reductions in skills shortages and gaps
  • collaboration will allow colleges, universities and training providers to develop their capacity
  • duplication of effort in public funding will be minimised leading to more efficient and effective investment in the education and skills system.