Informed Scotland Learning & Skills Hottest Topics 2020

We’re delighted to present the eighth annual list of Learning & Skills ‘Hot Topics’ that made it onto the cover of Informed Scotland over the past year:

1. COVID-19 impact & response (NEW)

2. Online, remote & technology enhanced learning & teaching (NEW)

3. Digital skills & inclusion (1 in 2019)

4. Youth employment & the young workforce (–)

=5. Apprenticeships (=8)

=5. Future education, skills & work (=4)

=5. International collaboration, comparisons & perceptions (–)

=5. National Qualifications – exams & results (=4)

=5. Skills shortages – upskilling, reskilling & training (–)

A year ago, no one could have predicted that the hottest topic of 2020 would be the impact and response to a pandemic. Or that ‘online, remote & technology enhanced learning & teaching’ would have jumped from nowhere to second place because of a devastating virus.

‘Digital skills’ has maintained its status as the only issue to have been in the top three every year since 2013. In 2020 the focus on digital inclusion reached new levels of importance.

Two topics have made every annual list except one: ‘apprenticeships’ and ‘skills shortages’. This year the latter was more about the need for rapid upskilling, reskilling and retraining than the prediction of longer term skills gaps.

‘Widening & fair access’ dropped out of the list for the first time ever, although we expect it to return in 2021. Also just outside the top nine were ‘mental health & wellbeing’, ‘additional support for learning’ and ‘graduate recruitment & employment’, alongside ‘surveys’ and ‘student experience & perspective’.

What are your predictions for 2021? Tweet us @InformedScot and we’ll compare notes!

Make it your New Year’s resolution to be better informed about what’s happening across learning & skills in business, schools, further & higher education, community & adult learning, and government & wider society. Contact [email protected] to receive the latest copy and find out how to subscribe here.

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