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Skills action plan for rural Scotland: 2019-2021 – Key issues and priorty actions

Focusing mainly on the rural areas, as well as the islands and more remote areas of Scotland, the Skills action plan has adopted a broad and holistic definition of rural skills. This includes the skills required within the traditional rural sectors (farming, fishing, and forestry), as well as in other industries such as energy, manufacturing, creative industries and tourism. The plan seeks to focus on developing the skills required for jobs in rural areas – both now and in the future. Rural Scotland faces challenges which could affect employers’ ability to recruit people they need to sustain and grow their business, and could also affect individuals’ opportunities to take up, sustain and progress in, quality work. Challenges may have both a direct impact on skills, such as the supply of people and qualifications, the nature of employment and the structure of the business base, and an indirect impact, such as the supply of housing, digital connectivity, access to transport and childcare, and wider issues of talent attraction and retention. The Skills action plan for rural Scotland is seeking to determine and develop the skills required in rural Scotland, analysing all evidence available and working with stakeholders to implement the plan. Colleges have a key role to play in rural areas, in developing a highly educated and skilled workforce by providing a broad base of education, and vocational and work-based learning opportunities.