A new national strategy for economic transformation has vowed to put skills and education at the heart of moves to support green jobs of the future.

The Scottish Government has published a plan in which a partnership approach is to be taken between the public sector and employers to create the necessary training programmes to deliver lifetime access to skills needed in the future economy.

Learning new skills, upskilling and retraining are all part of plans to unlock our economic potential in Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, published this month.
The vision sets out how public, private and third sector partnerships can work together to help make Scotland’s workforce more “agile” and support employers to invest in emerging economic opportunities.

This work is designed to help build a fairer and more equal society by ensuring economic transformation tackles inequality and drives up working standards and improves pay.
Actions include working collaboratively with employers and unions to increase investment in upskilling and retraining to better meet the needs of employers and employees in Scotland’s transition to net zero; supporting and incentivising employees, and their employers, to invest in skills and training throughout their working lives and expanding Scotland’s available talent pool, at all skills levels, to give employers the skills pipeline they need to take advantage of opportunities.

It also commits to implementing the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan to align Scotland’s skills system with business needs to reach net zero; implementing the next phase of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy and launching a new skills guarantee for workers in carbon intensive industries; and developing proposals for a national digital academy to open up access to a range of subjects for all learners.

Kate Forbes, the economy secretary, said: “The next decade will be decisive for Scotland’s economy and a key part of achieving our enormous economic potential will be investing in one of our greatest economic assets – our people.

“We want to build on the success of our Young Person’s Guarantee, Future Skills Action Plan and our investment in the Green Jobs Workforce Academy to create a skills system that offers lifetime access to new skills and retraining.

“A collaborative approach across all sectors will support our commitment to lifelong learning to ensure people across Scotland can access the tools they need for the jobs of the future and to participate in the labour market.

“This will also support employers to access incentives to invest in emerging economic opportunities which has the potential to lead to new jobs, new skills, and new ideas.”

The plan also pledges to deliver “a step change in our productivity performance and address regional inequalities in economic activity as well as boosting traditional and digital infrastructure across every sector, and every region, of the economy”.

And it highlights some of the key sectors that will drive economic performance and growth in Scotland over the next decade, which include supporting digital technologies such as AI and cybersecurity, and building on Edinburgh as the Data Capital of Europe and Dundee’s global leadership in gaming.

World-leading expertise in drug discovery and precision medicine, medical technologies and pharmaceutical services, advanced therapies, digital health and care, animal health and agritech are also to be harnessed as are Scotland’s national network of innovation centres focused on areas such as industrial biotech, data, digital health and care and precision medicine.