Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00621: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 8 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what effect the reported reduction in college places has had on the rate of adult illiteracy.

Answered by: John Swinney 15 June 2016

The Scottish Government has delivered on our commitment to maintain 116,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) places - colleges exceeded it in 2014-15, delivering 119,078 funded FTEs. Additionally, the number of full-time students over 25 at colleges has increased by 26% since 2006-07.

The last ‘Scottish Survey of Adult Literacies’ was conducted in 2009. However, other available evidence suggests that progress in tackling adult basic skills levels is being made. The latest skills profile data (2015), collected by the Scottish Government as part of labour market trend data, shows a downward trend in the proportion of adults aged 16 to 64 with low or no qualifications. The figure has fallen from 16.3% in the 2007 baseline year to 11.1% in 2015.