New skills plan to grow Edinburgh & SE Scotland’s economy

Public sector tackles key issues and builds on City Region Deal

Date posted

9 October 2017


Edinburgh Napier has pledged its support for a new Skills Investment Plan for the capital and south-east Scotland.

The initiative aims to combat concerns that a reduction in immigrant workers due to Brexit, a rise in the number of older staff hitting retirement and poor transport links could stall economic growth.

Skills Development Scotland today launched the Plan with a series of key partners including ourselves and other universities, colleges and local authorities.

It will ensure all public sector agencies work more effectively together to meet the needs of employers and locals while encouraging economic growth and tackling inequality.

Spanning Edinburgh, Fife, West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian and Scottish Borders, the Plan sets out a 20-year vision to secure economic prosperity for a region with a highly-qualified workforce but also higher than average levels of under-employment as well as an ageing population.

At its heart are seven areas of action to be addressed over the next three years:
- Building capacity and evidence to underpin a regional approach to skills investment

- Ensuring skills opportunities from the City Regional Deal are maximised

- Establishing clear pathways into key sectors and occupations

- Developing an employer-led programme to improve digital skills

- Enhancing support for developing leadership, management and entrepreneurial skills

- Providing high-quality and more effective support to residents to access skills training

- Enabling graduates and older workers to make more effective use of their skills

The Plan was welcomed by Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of East Lothian Council and Chair of the Skills and Innovation Workstream Group for the region.

She said: “This is a time of real opportunity and change. While there is diverse employment and a growing business base - with opportunities across a range of key sectors such as retail, tourism, financial services, health and social care – it’s essential that the new investment in the region benefits our own communities with a focus on inclusive growth.

“As the projects start to develop we need to ensure that skills supply keeps pace with demand, and that there are improved opportunities to support our citizens into and through employment.”