Scotland must improve skills training, think tank warns
The IPPR Scotland report sets out ten key challenges facing the country's skills system.
Scotland has to change the way it develops the skills of its workers to meet long-term challenges, a think tank has warned.
The Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland (IPPR) has laid out ten key challenges facing the country's skill system in the years ahead.
It believes colleges, apprenticeships and work-based training must improve to tackle issues such as low pay, career progression and productivity.
According to the IPPR's report, Scotland's pay rates have fallen in real terms in recent years.
Funding the skills system in Scotland in the future
Weaknesses in the economy and delivering inclusive growth
Responding to the increasing change and disruption in the economy
Promoting a high-skill business model among business leaders
Encouraging employees and learners to gain skills and progress
The changing effects of globalisation, Brexit and migration
Demographic change and shifting demand from the labour market
Longer working lives, multiple careers, multiple employers and the transferring skills throughout an employees career
Technological advances and the opportunities for new, more efficient learning methods within the skills system
Increased use of machinery instead of people in the economy reaching medium-skill roles, and the need to produce technologically-savvy learners and employees
The IPPR also found fewer Scots progressed from low-skilled jobs to middle and high-skilled jobs than in the rest of the UK.
In response to the report, the Scottish Government said it is already working to meet the challenges in many of these areas.
Jamie Hepburn, the minister for employability and training, said: "We know it's important that we address skills gaps and have confirmed we will use the apprenticeship levy, which the UK Government forced on Scotland without consultation, to give both employers and employees more options and flexibility.
"We will boost modern apprenticeships and address skills gaps and the training needs of existing employees where a full apprenticeship might not be appropriate.
"Our review of enterprise and skills agencies will look at building on existing strengths to ensure a system where all of our agencies work with each other and collaboratively with our business, academic and civic partners to optimise economic impact across the whole of Scotland."