Informed Scotland Learning & Skills Hottest Topics 2016


Here’s our fourth annual list of Learning & Skills ‘Hot Topics’ that made it onto the cover of Informed Scotland over the past year:

1. Digital & tech sector skills (=2 in 2015)

2. Science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) (=4)

=3. Apprenticeships (=9)

=3. Enterprise (=2)

=3. Gender balance & gaps (=9)

=3. Teacher education, development, shortages & recruitment (-)

=3. Qualifications (-, although National Qualifications was =9)

=3. Widening access (8)

=9. Assessment (-)

=9. Financial education, capability & skills (-)

=9. Skills gaps & shortages (=4)

Although the list is produced by fairly unscientific methodology, each year it captures most of the hottest issues. Unsurprisingly, ‘Digital skills’ was back in the number one spot, having never been out of the top three since the list was first compiled in 2013.

‘STEM’ has also appeared in every list, however this year’s 2nd place is its highest position by far.

‘Apprenticeships’, ‘Widening access’, and ‘Skills gaps & shortages’ are the only other topics that have made every annual list – and they’re likely to remain hot issues in 2017.

All new entries appear for the first time, although National Qualifications was equal ninth in 2015.

It’s particularly surprising that there have been no previous listings of anything related to teacher education, development or employment. However with plenty happening, including Edinburgh hosting the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in March, we’ve a feeling it’ll be back on the list next year.

The biggest faller was ‘Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)’, missing from the list after topping the table in 2015. Although every digest has included numerous DYW items, it only made it onto two covers.

Despite 2016 being the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, ‘Innovation’ only made it onto one cover, with no showings of architecture or design. We’re therefore reluctant to predict an entry related to the 2017 Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology

Angela will be reviewing the stories behind the list and looking at what’s in store for 2017 in an interview for Radio EDUtalk on 24 January. What were your 2016 highlights? What are your predictions for 2017? Tweet us @InformedScot.

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