As part of our mission to work with industry to grow and develop a modern workforce which meets the future skills needs of the region, Edinburgh College has published our inaugural Skills Report.
As Scotland’s largest College, and the only College serving the capital and its wider region, we are responsible for the delivery of vocational, technical and professional education qualifications and skills training to a region that accounts for over 12% of the total population of Scotland.
Earlier this year, we conducted research with our business partners in Edinburgh and the wider region and gathered data which will help us to further enhance the support we can offer businesses and their employees.
We heard from a wide-range of businesses representing over 10,000 employees in Edinburgh and the Lothians, from SMEs to larger businesses across the third, public and private sectors.
The insight and data gathered will be used to better understand the skills and development needs of the current workforce, and to help shape the workforce of the future. It is part of the College’s continued commitment to work with industry partners to build effective relationships, to reskill and upskill employees, and to build a pipeline of highly skilled and qualified staff.
On publishing the Skills Report 2019 Edinburgh College Principal and Chief Executive Audrey Cumberford said:
“Edinburgh College has growth ambitions and a determination to be the ‘go to’ partner for businesses, playing a central role in the economic ecosystem in our capital city and wider region.
We currently engage with around 2,000 businesses from our region’s business base to support their ongoing success, growth and improved productivity. To do this, we develop a deep understanding of the challenges our business partners face and, more often than not, we hear a consistent message.
The findings of the Skills Report tell us that many of the businesses we support recognise and experience similar challenges. Our partners are finding it harder to: recruit and attract talent; fill vacancies; recruit people with skills not just for job roles of today but for the future; keep up with the upskilling and reskilling requirements of their current staff; prepare for the future when trying to cope with day-to-day pressures and priorities; and know how to exploit new and emerging technologies to enhance products, services or core business operations.
Our business partners are increasingly tapping into our talent pool consisting of around 26,000 students and over 1,200 professional staff to help solve the challenges they face.
Edinburgh College aims to continue to be part of the solution – the College of choice for training and developing the workforce of businesses in our region.”
Commenting on the College’s Skills Report Nora Senior, Chair of the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board said:
“Our skills system in Scotland must be responsive and increasingly flexible to ensure it meets the changing needs of the modern industry and learners, at both a local and national level. Any demand-led skills system must be underpinned by robust evidence of employer requirements and the evolving skills required for the future.
The research undertaken by Edinburgh College highlights the challenges and priorities faced by businesses across Edinburgh. The College plays and important role in supporting business in a variety of ways to improve their productivity.”