Scotland Policy Conferences

Next steps for meeting Scotland’s skills needs

Morning, Thursday, 13th June 2019

Central Edinburgh


This seminar will bring together policymakers and key stakeholders to examine the next steps for meeting Scotland’s skills needs.

It is timed to consider The Scottish Government’s Future Skills Action Plan, aimed at building on the work of the Enterprise and Strategic Skills Board to ensure that the right skills are in place to support Scotland’s economy.

Delegates will discuss the proposed increased focus on up-skilling and re-skilling, and introduction of a new funding model for work-based learning and the up-skilling and re-training agenda.

Policymakers and stakeholders will assess new approaches to meeting Scotland’s future skills needs, including in specific sectors through Innovation Centres, and schemes such as FUTUREquipped and the College Innovation Fund.

Attendees will also assess next steps for meeting regional and rural skills needs, with The Scottish Government expected to publish its action plan. We expect discussion on promoting increased levels of coordination between local authorities and national skills agencies, and the development and delivery of Regional Skills Partnerships.

The agenda also looks at options for ensuring that skills development in Scotland is fit to meet regional, demographic and technological needs, and how best to deliver the Enterprise and Strategic Skills Board’s Strategic Plan - including expanding work-based learning, supporting individuals to upskill and reskill and shaping the system to be more demand-led.

Further sessions examine the future for aligning education and skills systems and creating effective pathways to key skills sectors with shortages such as STEM - including implementing the recommendations of the Learner Journey Review through developing the school curriculum to meet business needs and the future for pupil support and career guidance.

Discussion will also focus on the implementation of The Scottish Government’s Economic Action Plan, and expanded upskilling and reskilling through programmes such as the National Retraining Partnership, and tackling the challenges to retraining, particularly bringing together key partners.

Guest of Honour

Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

Guest of Honour

Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

Keynote Speaker

Nora Senior

Chair, Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board


John Mason MSP

Deputy Convener, Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee


Senior speaker confirmed from Colleges Scotland

Professor James Miller

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University

Ishabel Bremner

Economic Growth Manager, Argyll & Bute Council

Stephen Ingledew

Chief Executive, FinTech Scotland

Professor David Coates

Chair, Accreditation Committee, Royal Society of Biology and Professor of Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee