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Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board sub-group report

Shona Struthers

@CollegesScot Comment on the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board Sub-Group Report 

Commenting on the report published by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board sub-group on Measures to Mitigate the Labour Market Impacts from COVID-19 today (Friday), Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:

“We welcome this report which highlights the significant economic challenges that COVID-19 pandemic has presented Scotland with, ncluding a sharp rise in unemployment.  The college sector has a vital role to help stimulate economic recovery through providing redundancy support, upskilling, reskilling the workforce, and providing people with valuable employability skills as well as assisting specific economic sectors which have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The report also confirms what we have been fearing – that it will be the most vulnerable who are likely to be hit the hardest, such as young people, women, and those with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Colleges already play a key role in social inclusion, delivering skills and qualifications for those furthest from the labour market, and we will do everything we can to support individuals who are most disadvantaged by the economic downturn.

“We are pleased that the report recognises the important role colleges have in Scotland’s economic revival, the need for the whole skills system to work together to deliver flexible solutions to the unprecedented situation that we face, and that it highlights and agrees with the Cumberford/Little report’s recommendation to move from full time to shorter, more focused training provision at colleges.

“The college sector supports employers and people of all ages and backgrounds by delivering training, retraining, upskilling, and providing qualifications and pathways into employment. As a sector, we are committed to working even closer with schools, universities, businesses, and key stakeholders to ensure that Scotland’s people and economy can successfully emerge from COVID-19 and thrive.

“We agree with the immediate key priorities identified in the report and the college sector can help with the work being undertaken over the summer to identify further actions that will support the most vulnerable groups and the long-term unemployed.  We look forward to working with the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, employers and other partners across the skills system to develop and then implement these actions and help deliver social and economic recovery.”

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