Informed Scotland September 2019 – Learning & skills for a better future


One of the main themes in September was ‘being better prepared for the future’, spearheaded by the Scottish Government’s new Future Skills Action Plan.

The sense of urgency we reported last month has grown, affected no doubt by heightened public concern about the climate ‘emergency’, the Brexit ‘crisis’ and the ‘threat’ of technology – all intrinsically linked to learning and skills.

The David Hume Institute asked Who will do the jobs? with a shortage of workers forecast for Scotland, while Hays’ annual Global Skills Index asked How can supply keep up with demand? and PWC’s Upskilling Hopes and Fears report asked for workers’ views on the impact of automation and technology.

Emphasis has shifted from debating what the future might hold, to acting now – trying to maximise opportunities and avoid worst-case scenarios by developing skills, reshaping education and encouraging lifelong learning.

The Future Skills Action Plan, for example, includes proposals for a Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, and the intention to address skills gaps and shortages as a central part of the response to Brexit.

The Scottish Government’s new annual programme has a ‘continued focus on education and closing the attainment gap as [its] top priority’, although the phrase ‘defining mission’ doesn’t appear this year. This time last year the attention was on national assessments in Primary 1 – this year all eyes are on S4 to S6, with a Senior Phase review announced, following publication of a survey of headteachers and the Scottish Parliament Education & Skills Committee’s Subject choices in schools report of its inquiry.

Numerous consultations and reviews are seeking your input, including:

These are just highlights become an Informed Scotland subscriber so you can keep on top of all the developments. Email [email protected] to request a sample copy.

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