25 June 2012
SDS Chair John McClelland said: "The current economic climate
presents challenges but opportunities are emerging in many key
sectors including engineering, renewables, tourism, food and drink
and life sciences. SDS is fully engaging with employers to ensure
our training and learning provision corresponds to their needs.
"Our economy will only benefit if we get our young people
enthused and trained for these growth industries. By combining the
expertise of our staff with new technology, such as our web service
My World of Work, we can ensure everyone in Scotland gets the
chance to realise their potential, and every employer can depend on
a skilled workforce to take their industries forward."
Central to this is a commitment to fund at least 75,000 more
Modern Apprenticeships over the next three years, benefiting both
individuals and businesses.
Preparing young people to be sought after by employers will be a
key priority for the organisation between 2012-15. A modernised SDS
will see the latest technology, training and labour market research
used to ensure more young people than ever before get the right
support to help them build lasting careers.
Provision of career information advice and guidance is being
expanded beyond face-to-face and telephone services. Responding to
customer preferences, My World of Work will support many to manage
their own careers. This will free up SDS staff to offer one-to-one
support to those furthest from the labour market.
Changes will see SDS provide more hours of support to more
pupils over the coming years and new initiatives introduced such as
a national certificate through which young people can properly
demonstrate their work-readiness to employers.
SDS intends to engage with employers more closely than ever
before. Building on its work with industry advisory boards and
employer bodies, SDS will be collaborating with others to compound
a public and private sector partnership approach to skills
In response to employer needs a new web service will be
introduced later this year enabling employers to explore the range
of programmes, financial support and resources available to help
them plan for, recruit and develop their workforce. Skills
investment plans for each of Scotland's key sectors will set a
clear intention for the future, helping employers to plan with
confidence, while youth employment action plans in local authority
areas will support every young person's opportunity to engage with
the labour market.
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce,
said: "Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcome the emphasis in SDS's
new corporate plan on private sector partnership to ensure that
Scotland has the skills base required to maximise its potential for
economic growth. This strategy ensures that both business and
individual needs are met by the Scottish skills offer.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce look forward to working in
partnership to deliver the best possible support for the skills
needs of Scottish business."
Damien Yeates, chief executive of SDS, said: "The way people learn
and get information is transforming, as is the world of work.
Skills Development Scotland is responding to these changes by
providing services in line with customer demand. We are equipping
our staff to help those who need it most, and working with
employers to meet their needs now and into the future. By linking
learning and training with industry needs we plan to create the
right conditions for an ambitious economic future."