Salmon Scotland backs calls for skills reform

Industry body Salmon Scotland has welcomed a report which is calling for a major reform of skills training in Scotland.

The report, Independent Review of the Skills Delivery Landscape, was commissioned by the Scottish Government and led by James Withers, former chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink. It makes 15 recommendations to help reach targets for economic transformation, including:

  • the creation of a new single funding and delivery body, bringing together functions from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and, possibly, the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS);
  • giving the enterprise agencies a clear remit for supporting businesses, with workforce planning as an embedded and integrated part of business development and planning;
  • ensuring there is a clear remit for the new qualifications body – the successor to the SQA – in overseeing development and accreditation of all publicly funded post-school qualifications;
  • moving responsibility for national skills planning to the Scottish Government;
  • reform of SDS to create a new body with a singular focus on careers advice and education.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “The salmon sector, Scotland’s leading food export, welcomes this well-argued case for change on skills businesses need.

“Our sector is responsible for creating thousands of high-paid, skilled, and rewarding jobs right across the country.

“We want to help the next generation of young people and are a leading provider of modern apprenticeships and other training opportunities.

“But the current approach does not work as effectively as it should.

“We hope the Government will embrace the recommendations, take the views of business and growth sectors such as ours, and move to implementation.”

Graeme Dey, Minister for Further and Higher Education in the Scottish Government, thanked James Withers and said: “I am supportive of the broad direction of travel James Withers identifies but will take a little time to consider fully the detail of the recommendations and the practicalities of implementing them.”


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