FE and skills in Scotland: the implications of a policy led and ‘managed’ approach?

Gallacher, Jim and Reeve, Fiona (2019). FE and skills in Scotland: the implications of a policy led and ‘managed’ approach? Journal of Education and work, 32(3) pp. 238–250.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2019.1621274


This article considers the implications of a ‘managed’ approach to skills policy in Scotland, in which Government policy and the role of national institutional frameworks can be seen to be influential, and which contrasts with the more marketised approach which has been a central aspect of policy in England. A number of themes within these national policies are discussed, and the continuing importance of balancing the skills agenda with social inclusion is noted. The ways in which these national policies and frameworks have shaped provision in a number of key areas including apprenticeship programmes, changing patterns of participation, and relationships with employers are then examined. The strengths and limitations of the distinctive approaches taken in Scotland will be analysed in terms of their contribution to meeting the changing educational training needs of the workforce in the 21st century. This consideration of the distinctively policy led and ‘managed’ approach to the skills agenda will provide the context in which to consider the opportunities for policy learning within the UK.

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