All party summit to examine Wood Commission recommendations


All parties in the Scottish Parliament are to be invited to a summit on vocational education hosted by the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.

Chair of the Commission, Sir Ian Wood, will lead the event, where the Scottish Government, Cosla and key stakeholders will join the parties in discussing the first set of recommendations from the Commission’s report.

Representatives from school and college education, business and training will all be able to contribute to how improvements to vocational education in Scotland can be mapped out.

The Commission outlined its first recommendations in an interim report last month, calling for improved vocational pathways for young people, with a further report to follow in 2014.

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance said:

“The Scottish Government has made clear that preparing our young people for the world of work is an absolute priority and our action so far has resulted in significant improvements to Scotland’s rate of youth employment.

“Our rates of youth employment and unemployment are ahead of the UK and our 16 to 19 year olds have an unprecedented guaranteed offer of a place in education of training through Opportunities for All, should they not already have one. Furthermore, we are funding thousands of jobs for young people and continue to create 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships every year.

“The Commission on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce has laid down a possible blueprint for the future and we are keen to discuss how some of the key recommendations could be taken forward. Consensus is vital given how far-reaching the recommendations are for schools, colleges and training providers and we want to continue to work closely with all parties at a national and local level on planning the next steps. The Commission’s summit will give all interested organisations the chance to consider the its first report and to discuss the next steps on a partnership basis.

“We want to take Scotland’s influencers and opinion formers with us as we look to the workforce of the future. An all-Scotland approach will ensure that our young people and our employers are getting the best possible value from vocational education.

“The direction being set by the Wood Commission’s interim report will also significantly progress our ambitions under Curriculum for Excellence for raising the attainment of every young person, and closing the attainment gap. Its recommendations could help us realise our ambition for Scotland to be the best place to go to school, where each child and young person can enjoy an education that encourages them to be the most successful they can be.”