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Research and Innovation

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ResearchWhy is this National Outcome important?

Sustainable economic growth can only be achieved if we use the skills of our people to best effect. Skills development runs through our lifelong learning agenda, spanning our new approach to the early years of children's lives, the reforms to our school curriculum, improvements in the skills of our workforce, and thinking ahead to the future of further and higher education in Scotland.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Scotland needs to improve its relatively low productivity levels. Starting with a relatively high skills base, the challenge is to make sure we have the right skills and that they are used effectively. That is why Skills for Scotland sets out an ambitious agenda, focusing on the demand for and supply of skills in Scotland and, importantly, their utilisation. To achieve this we are improving learning opportunities for low paid/low skilled workers and working towards an effective mix of vocational skills in the economy. We are also working with employers so that, together, we can meet their skills needs.

We are reducing economic inactivity, supporting individuals to access employment as a route out of poverty through providing accessible, high quality learning and development opportunities for individuals in vulnerable or disadvantaged situations and making additional support, such as childcare, more widely available. Not only will this improve individual wellbeing, it will increase participation in the labour market. We will also enable greater participation in Scotland's economic, social and civic life by improving programmes for adult literacy and numeracy, by supporting high quality adult learning and by upgrading publicly-funded English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) learning.

Maintaining the competitiveness and effectiveness of our tertiary education system in teaching, research and knowledge transfer is vital to our economic wellbeing. This knowledge will underpin the thinking and technologies which promote and protect our health, wellbeing and environment, and which drive sustainable economic growth.

What is the Government's role?

This Government's Purpose is to make Scotland a wealthier nation from which all of Scotland's people, both now and in the future, can benefit. That is why we are investing in a globally-competitive, flexible learning system which is responsive to the demands of learners, employers and the economy. We are working with learning providers to continuously improve performance and value for money in training, further and higher education, and community learning and development. That is why we are currently working with the sector to plan ahead for the continued competitiveness of higher education in Scotland and have established Skills Development Scotland to get the right learning, advice, guidance and skills mix in our economy.

We will capitalise on the benefits of collaboration between Scottish universities, building on existing success. We are working to stimulate demand for and use of research and innovation by business, so that we can bridge the gap between innovation and commercialisation of our best ideas. Additional support for Scotland's leading edge industries will harness this knowledge to the country's advantage, putting science to work so that it can underpin our health, wealth and wellbeing as a nation. A new science strategy for Scotland will outline our approach.

Graduates from Scottish universities are among the brightest and the best in the global talent pool and make a significant contribution to Scotland's economic growth. This Government is demonstrating its commitment to free education, with access which is based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay. The abolition of the graduate endowment fee was a crucial step towards freeing graduates from the burden of debt. Together with the increased financial support which 20,000 part-time students across Scotland will benefit from as of this autumn, we are establishing a fairer system that we will continue to build on over the course of this administration.

Related Strategic Objectives



Wealthier and Fairer

Research and Innovation