This was a report that should be of great concern to all sectors across Scotland. In the post-pandemic environment, it is important to do everything possible to ensure that our economy recovers as quickly as possible, which means that those sectors that have growth potential can find a workforce that can help them succeed.
With the expected increase in unemployment, especially among young people, we are obliged to advise them on where jobs may be available in the near future and how they can access the skills needed to work in these industries.
This is where the Scottish college sector does a vital job. For decades, we have been expanding our knowledge of our regions and working with local employers to discuss their needs and how we can help educate their future workforce. For example, at Fife we are not only looking at which industries locals are currently working in, but also looking at which sectors are expected to increase in demand over the next few years.
Our current data suggests that there is likely to be a surge in new job openings in our field over the next three years in personal care, healthcare and business occupations, and if we are to meet that demand, we need to act now.
That’s why Fife College’s 2022-2023 Academic Prospectus, released earlier this year, aims to provide everyone who studies with us with the opportunities, knowledge, and skills they need to enter the world of work. We offer over 400 courses in 40 different subject areas with a full range of qualifications in them, from vocational training and apprenticeships to HNCs, HNDs and degrees.
By working with local employers, we can ensure that we are fully committed to taking our students in positive directions and help meet the skill needs of our economy. This approach has led to the latest figures from the Scottish Funding Council that 90 percent of our full-time graduates go on to work or go on to study, and we were by no means the only college with a high success rate when it came to achieving top results. for our students.
Scottish colleges can and do a lot to help our country recover from the pandemic. Fife College works directly with businesses to upskill their workforce, using flexible workforce development funds and creating apprenticeship opportunities supported by Skills Development Scotland. And with the advent of flexible and hybrid learning opportunities for more employers, there has never been a better opportunity for anyone to start or change their career.
Together, as a sector, colleges are doing everything they can to address the challenges the Auditor of Scotland highlighted in his report, and with more support, we can ensure that future training and education needs are met in our economy.
Ian Hawker, Associate Director of Quality and Academic Partnerships, Fife College