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What we do

Government policy is a primary driver of what Skills Development Scotland (SDS) does. A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to economic growth ambitions for Scotland.

In support of youth employment, SDS is one of the delivery partners for the Scottish Government's guaranteed offer of a place in education or training for all 16 to 19-year-olds through Opportunities for All. 

We have a management statement and associated financial memorandum which has been drawn up by the Scottish Government's Employability, Skills & Lifelong Learning Directorate.   This statement sets out the broad framework within which we operate and the memorandum sets out some aspects of the financial framework in detail. 

At the start of each business year Scottish Ministers issue a Letter of Guidance to SDS setting out key targets, objectives and priorities for the year ahead.

SDS works with partners across Scotland to deliver the following key services:

  • My World of Work - the SDS web service which offers the people of Scotland a unique mix of tools, features and job information to help them discover more about themselves and the future world of work
  • Modern Apprenticeships - providing a way for businesses to train new entrants and existing employees to industry-recognised standards
  • Our Skillsforce. Support for employers to recruit, develop and plan a skilled workforce through a dedicated employer team and a skills web service
  • Leading delivery of PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) support for those dealing with redundancy
  • Supporting individuals to secure and sustain employment through the development of employability and vocational skills through a local delivery model - the Employability Fund


Equality Act 2010 and Specific Duties Scotland regulations 2012.

SDS is a listed authority under the Equality Act 2010 and Specific Duties Scotland regulations 2012 and upholds its responsibilities to provide equal opportunities for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, religion/belief, gender reassignment, age, race, disability, pregnancy and maternity and gender.

Read our Equality and Diversity policy to find out more.