News from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

06 08.16


Enterprise and skills review - Call for evidence

Economy Secretary Keith Brown has issued a call for evidence as part of the end-to-end review he is leading of enterprise and skills support in Scotland. Businesses, students and others who use enterprise and skills services are being asked for their views about the support on offer, including career guidance.

The review aims to ensure the Scottish Government and all of our public agencies are delivering the joined-up support that our young people, universities, colleges and businesses need to increase sustainable economic growth.

The Economy Secretary is being assisted by a Ministerial Review Group, the membership of which has been drawn from a wide range of key stakeholders and experts. For more information about the group’s membership and remit, see:

The CDI will be submitting evidence to the review (closing date 15 August 2016)


HE sector in Scotland faces funding crisis

A report released by Audit Scotland revealed ‘significant challenges’ facing the higher education sector in Scotland. The report highlighted a 6 per cent real terms cut in the funding universities receive from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), and noted that universities are increasingly reliant on generating income from fee-paying students from the rest of the UK and outside the EU.


GDP figures show 2.1 per cent growth in economy in 2015

Employment in Scotland rose by 17,000 over the last quarter, illustrating the underlying resilience of the economy, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest figures. Labour Market Statistics for March to May 2016 shows a strengthening position for employment and unemployment. They also show that:

  • Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK on female employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.
  • The unemployment level has fallen by 18,000.
  • Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.

In addition, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures published today show that the Scottish economy is now estimated to have grown by 2.1 per cent in 2015 as a whole, despite a challenging external environment. The level of output in the economy remained the same in the first quarter of 2016 as the last quarter of 2015. The Labour Market Statistics can be found here:


Response to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy

The UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy undermines the “uniquely Scottish” approach to modern apprentices, says Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn. Mr Hepburn announced that, following the UK Government’s decision to implement an Apprenticeship Levy, the Scottish Government will launch a consultation live until 26 August and can be accessed via this link

The consultation will seek views on:

  • continued commitment to 30,000 high quality modern apprenticeship starts by 2020 – including an offer to support further opportunities if there is sufficient demand from industry
  • developing more graduate level apprenticeships
  • creating an employer fund for wider workforce development
  • providing support for those outside the labour market to prepare them to enter the skilled workforce employers need for their business




New curriculum for Wales

The Digital Competence Framework is the first element of the new curriculum for Wales to be developed. It will be made available to schools and settings in September 2016.


Review of progression planning in further education in Wales

A review of how well colleges in Wales are planning and delivering their curriculum to secure progression opportunities for learners at all levels is now available on Learning Wales.


STEM in Ed free event - Wednesday 7 September, Swansea

Meet educators from across Wales and the UK to explore the latest innovative ideas and resources in STEM education. Join the British Science Association at their annual celebratory ‘STEM in Ed’ evening at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. A great opportunity to meet teachers, activity providers and STEM Ambassadors; register for free here


Early-Evening CPD

The next three early-evening CPD events are now being formalised and will include sessions on Personal Branding (Bangor and t); Using social media to find work (North and Swansea) and Career development in the private sector. The dates and venues are on the website -



Northern Ireland

Simon Hamilton has been appointed the new minister responsible for the economy, which includes the careers service in NI, In previous mandates he has been responsible for finance and health. We are all now waiting to hear his views and perspectives on the economy and framework for programmes and government.