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No publication date for key future skills plan already months late

The Scottish Conservatives have derided the SNP’s ‘half-hearted’ approach to the future skills agenda as it has emerged that there is still no date for the publication of the Future Skills Action Plan which is already four months late.

The SNP pledged to publish a Future Skills Action Plan ‘in early 2019’ in its Economic Action Plan 2018-20.

In a Scottish Parliamentary written answer to Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP, Jamie Hepburn, the SNP’s Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills has admitted that the Action Plan still has no date for publication.

The Future Skills Action Plan aims to set out how the SNP will up-skill and re-skill the existing workforce, in the light of the changes that technological advance and economic change will present.

The Plan should also outline the SNP’s funding model for work-based learning and the up-skilling/retraining agenda.

Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative spokesman for employability and skills said;


“The SNP’s half-hearted approach to the future skills agenda is really disappointing.

“The Future Skills Action Plan is already four months late, but who knows when it will be published?

“The Scottish economy has been falling way short of the rest of the UK’s for years now, and still the SNP appears to feel no pressure to make any progress in this vital area.

“Businesses and workers alike are crying out for some support and leadership from the SNP.

“The SNP’s feeble approach to future skills is seriously undermining the Scottish economy.”


Notes to editors:


The Economic Action Plan 2018-20 can be found here -


S5W-23603 Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its commitment in its Economic Action Plan 2018-20 to publish its Future Skills Action Plan "in early 2019", by what date this will be published.

Jamie Hepburn: We continue to work with stakeholders, including the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board and the agencies, to develop the Future Skills Action Plan.

It is crucial that the plan is fully aligned with the delivery of the Strategic Board’s Strategic Plan, and work the Board and its agencies are developing to drive forward our shared ambitions for skills provision to better support inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This work must also take cognisance of the economic and labour market conditions into which the Future Skills Action Plan will be delivered, with the significant negative impacts of Brexit across Scotland’s economy and labour market, a primary and obvious concern.

I look forward to updating Parliament on our plans to publish the Future Skills Action Plan in the very near future.

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