Date lodged: 10 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that Skills Development Scotland has spent £8.2 million on industry and employer engagement since April 2016; what discussions it has had with the agency regarding this, and what its position is on whether this expenditure constitutes value-for-money.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 23 November 2016
Skills Development Scotland receive Guidance each year from Scottish Ministers which details ministerial priorities, and associated budget. SDS budgets are monitored as set out in the Framework Document between Scottish Government and SDS, and this is also in line with Scottish Ministers guidance that is provided in the Scottish Public Finance Manual.
The SDS Board is responsible for decisions on how SDS will allocate funding to meet these priorities. The SDS budget for industry and employer engagement for the entirety of 2016-17 is £8.2m and is distributed across several key areas of work including:
The Transition Training Fund (this fund aims to support individuals who lose their job into alternative employment within the wider Energy, Manufacturing and Engineering sectors, through retraining, upskilling and the relevant certification & accreditation necessary to secure employment)
Sector development activity including Skills Investment Plans, Regional SIPs and Regional Skills Assessments in support of Scotland’s Industry Leadership Groups
PACE employer services
Employer services Skills for Growth, workforce and workplace innovation
Digital skills initiatives to implement the ICT & Digital Technology Skills Investment Plan
We are content that this activity is in line with our guidance and recognises the fact that engaging with industry and employers is a central part of the role that SDS play particularly in delivering the Skills Planning Model. The importance of such engagement has been a crucial aspect of our policy in this area, for example through the Labour Market Strategy and Developing the Young Workforce.