Skills system ‘needs to train for multiple careers’

The Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland (IPPR Scotland) has warned that the Scottish skills system needs to be reformed to adapt to an economy and a society society where “people will work longer, in multiple careers and for multiple employers.”

“Developing a skills system that meets the needs of an ever-changing labour market is one of the biggest issues facing the Scottish government over the coming years,” said IPPR Scotland in a discussion paper.

“We believe a well-functioning skills system in Scotland needs to be at the heart of meeting many of the challenges that Scotland faces.”

IPPR Scotland outlined 10 key challenges facing the skills system in Scotland:

  • funding the skills system in Scotland in the future
  • addressing current weakness in the economy and delivering inclusive growth
  • responding to the increasing pace of change and disruption in the economy
  • promoting a high-skill business model among employers
  • encouraging employees and learners to upskill 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 transferability of learning throughout learners’ careers
  • technological advances and the opportunities for new, more efficient learning methods and pedagogies within the skills system
  • automation in the economy reaching mid-skill roles, and the need to produce technologically-savvy learners and employees