Informed Scotland May 2022 – Adult learning & the young workforce

This edition marks 10 years since the first issue of Informed Scotland!

As long-standing subscribers and followers know, each year at this point I like to remind us all that in May 2012 youth unemployment in Scotland stood at a miserable 23.1%. It currently stands at a much improved 5.6%, which looks even more impressive when compared to the UK’s 9.7%. And yet challenges remain, albeit not all the same.

Developing the young workforce is still a hot topic, with more Young Person’s Guarantee funding announced, and numerous new initiatives to prepare young people for work or to help them make better informed career decisions.

Examples include City of Edinburgh Council’s new construction industry Skills Academy; Dundee & Angus College and Dundee City Council’s new RISE (Raising Interpersonal Skills for Employment) course; and a new School leavers toolkit published by Skills Development Scotland on the My World of Work website.

It was good to see adult learning as a hot topic in May, with publication of the long-awaited first Adult Learning Strategy for Scotland. To help subscribers, Informed 101 includes the strategy’s 23 actions in an Annex.

Other items to highlight:

Are you curious to see what was in Informed 1? Email [email protected] to request a copy with the latest issue – discover what you’re missing!

Want to keep on top of all the developments? Become an Informed Scotland subscriber.

Informed Scotland April 2022 – 100th issue of the learning & skills digest

Issue 100 includes key Covid-19 guidance and announcements up to 5 May.

With the Easter break in April and local government elections approaching, it was a relatively quiet month for learning & skills, with no major announcements.

There are a number of items worth highlighting, however:

It’s hard to believe that this is the 100th issue of Informed Scotland – and that next month will mark 10 years since the first edition in 2012! More on that in June. In the meantime, thank you to all those who’ve been subscribing since issue #1 – it wouldn’t have happened without your faith in its potential.

Want to keep on top of all the developments? Become an Informed Scotland subscriber. Email [email protected] to request a free copy of the latest edition.

Informed Scotland March 2022 – Strategies & reforms

Issue 99 includes key Covid-19 guidance and announcements up to 11 April.

The hottest learning & skills topic in March was Prof Ken Muir’s eagerly anticipated report for school education reforms: the replacement of the SQA, the reform of Education Scotland and removal of its inspection function. We’ve provided subscribers with a helpful Annex containing his 21 recommendations and the Scottish Government’s response.

March saw the publication of several national strategies, all relevant to learning & skills. For Scotland there’s a new ten-year Strategy for Economic Transformation, a ten-year Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care, a five-year Retail Strategy and a Blue Economy Vision for marine sectors to 2045. There’s also a new five-year strategy for UK Research & Innovation.

Numerous interesting reports were published, including:

Also look out for the Scottish Parliament Education, Children & Young People Committee’s new colleges regionalisation inquiry, ten years on from the creation of 13 college regions in 2012. Particularly interesting as three colleges are currently involved in the Rural & Islands College Merger Project due to be finalised in January 2023.

This is the tip of the information iceberg! Want to keep on top of all the developments? Become an Informed Scotland subscriber. Email [email protected] to request the latest copy.

Informed Scotland February 2022 – Careers, computing & collaboration

February was a relatively calm month in learning & skills terms.

The most significant item was the report of the ‘comprehensive, end-to-end’ review of career services commissioned by Skills Development Scotland a year ago. The Scottish Government has given the green light to all ten recommendations, so the Career Review Programme Board is now taking them forward.

Other items of note included:

  • City & Guilds’ Great Jobs report, highlighting essential jobs and kicking off a campaign seeking to address the challenges to fill them
  • Education Scotland’s report on computing science in secondary schools, plus the Scottish Government’s £1.3m funding to support the subject in primary and secondary education
  • two reports on outdoor learning – Education Scotland’s ‘national thematic review’ by HM Inspectors, and YouthLink Scotland’s report on the impact of the Covid-19 Outdoor Education Recovery Fund
  • the Independent Commission on the College of the Future’s report on the importance of collaboration between colleges and universities
  • the UK Government’s somewhat controversial white paper on Levelling Up.

The following were also included, despite being announced in March. For very different reasons, it would have been remiss to make Informed subscribers wait for next month’s edition:

  • The Scottish Government’s announcement about school education reforms, alongside the publication of Prof Ken Muir’s eagerly anticipated report. A more detailed summary will be in next month’s issue.
  • With the horrors of the war in Ukraine occupying everyone’s thoughts, Education Scotland has created a helpful resource on ‘Teaching about conflict and war’ on the National Improvement Hub.

Want to keep on top of all the developments? Become an Informed Scotland subscriber. Email [email protected] to request the latest copy.

Informed Scotland Dec21/Jan22 – Attainment gaps & skills shortages

Issue 97 includes key Covid-19 guidance and announcements up to and including 10 February.

Closing the poverty-related attainment gap continues to be a stubborn problem. Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels 2020/21 reported that the attainment gap in literacy and numeracy for primary pupils had increased. And the National Improvement Framework Interactive Evidence Report showed the percentage gap had grown for school leavers with one or more qualifications at SCQF 4+, 5+ and 6+. As a result:

Skills gaps and shortages remain a major concern for many employers. This time the spotlight was on engineering, digital, aquaculture and electronics:

Meanwhile, Audit Scotland published a critical report on Planning for skills, calling for the Scottish Government to take urgent action with SDS & the Scottish Funding Council on an integrated approach.

Other developments and reports to look out for include:

Themed weeks and events coming up include: Cyber Scotland Week 28 February–6 March, Scottish Apprenticeship Week 7–11 March and The SCQF at 21 Online Conference on 24 March.

This is the tip of the information iceberg: become an Informed Scotland subscriber so you can keep on top of all the developments. Email [email protected] to request a copy of the latest issue.