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A sub-group of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, led by Strategic Board Chair Nora Senior and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Chair Frank Mitchell, has today published a report outlining proposals on how the enterprise and skills agencies could support the labour market in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the group included SFC Chair Mike Cantlay and representatives from industry bodies, employers, trade unions and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) groups.

The report makes a series of recommendations including:

  • Maximising the flexibility of colleges and universities with a focus on critical skills required in growth areas of the economy.
  • Expansion of apprentice provision, including more off-the-job training.
  • Development of PACE redundancy support with more front-line advisers and tailored support for businesses of all sizes.
  • Short placement schemes to give work experience to under-25s who have been out of work for six months.
  • Assistance to upskill or reskill staff and more integrated support for businesses.

It follows on from the report published by the Benny Higgins’ Advisory Group which put education firmly at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery.

Commenting on the sub-group’s report, SFC Chair, Mike Cantlay, said:

“Covid-19 has created significant challenges for the Scottish economy and the way we live our lives. Today’s report, building on the recommendations in the Benny Higgins’ Advisory Group Report, confirms the vital role that colleges and universities will play in driving Scotland’s economic recovery.

We are fortunate to be starting from a position of strength, with colleges and universities already showing innovation and flexibility in their delivery to support young people, adults, businesses, schools and wider society within a Covid-19 environment.

As we begin our own review of coherent provision and sustainability of post-16 education bodies, we look forward to building on these strong foundations and to reflecting the recommendations of these two recent reports.”