Universities Scotland responds to the Withers review of skills landscape

Responding to Fit for the Future: developing a post-school learning system to fuel economic transformation, published by the Scottish Government on 7 June 2023, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:

“This is a bold report that seeks to tackle long-term challenges in the skills landscape head-on and proposes a major shake-up of Scotland’s structural and cultural approach to skills. There is a lot to digest in this report and we need to take the time to do so properly in order to respect the work that has gone into this. We welcome Mr Withers’ willingness to break-down deeply unhelpful and false dichotomies between vocational and academic routes and his determination to put learners and employers at the centre. Universities have a major role to play going forward and we will be an active and constructive stakeholder in that process.

“We need to ensure that delivery of the skills agenda fully connects to the entire spectrum of the university role, including research, innovation and entrepreneurship, which sit beyond the scope of this review but are being considered in separate, Scottish Government-led processes. We also need Scottish Government, in considering these recommendations, to give full attention to supporting Scotland’s internationally-excellent higher education institutions as a central part of our nation’s offering to the world.”