Vocational training focuses on the practical skills and
knowledge required for particular jobs, trades and occupations. It
is important in supporting workplace progression, improving the
productivity of businesses and fulfilling individuals'
Vocational training is delivered by a wide range of
organisations, which include:
- Colleges and schools.
- Training providers in the public, private and third
- Local authorities.
- Employers and employers' organisations.
- Voluntary organisations and social enterprises.
- Trade unions.
- Government agencies.
To be effective, vocational training ought to respond to the
needs of employers, therefore providers should work in partnership
with employers in the design and delivery of courses. This is one
of the recommendations from Review
of Post-16 Education and Vocational Training in Scotland, the
others being to develop a learner-centred system that is founded on
the following 12 principles:
- Is easy to understand and navigate.
- Offers excellent insights on, and access to the world of
- Operates coherently and collaboratively at local / regional
level with appropriate governance arrangements.
- Operates in a transparent and accountable environment so that
learners, employers and communities can drive provider
responsiveness and continuous improvement.
- Is market-led with strong employer engagement throughout.
- Is performance driven with a clear focus on outcomes and
- Retains and attracts an increasingly ambitious and adaptive
- Embraces innovation and creativity.
- Gains more from current and future technologies.
- Is responsive to the diversity of opportunities and needs
across all parts of Scotland.
- Offers the country exceptional public value.
- Has strong international connections and impacts.
- Vocational training typically takes the form of courses
provided by further education colleges and private training
providers, incorporating classroom and work-based elements.
Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme provides individuals with
the opportunity to gain vocational qualifications while earning a
wage. It also offers businesses the opportunity to train employees
to industry-recognised standards.
Most vocational qualifications are developed, accredited and
awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The two
main types of vocational qualification in Scotland are Scottish
Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and Higher National Certificates
(HNCs and HNDs). The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
(SCQF) brings together all mainstream qualifications in Scotland
into a single framework, allowing for comparisons to be made.
Under the newly introduced Employability Fund, Skills
Development Scotland funds skills training to individuals that is
delivered in partnership with training providers and colleges. The
Fund brought together earlier National Training Programmes,
including Get Ready for Work, Lifeskills, Training for Work,
Targeted Pathways to Apprenticeships and the New College Learning
Programme, with the aim of providing a more flexible,
outcome-focused provision for individuals which is responsive to
the needs of employers and local labour markets.