Skills delivery independent review: call for evidence

Closed 23 Dec 2022

Opened 28 Oct 2022

Feedback updated 3 Jan 2024

We asked

For your views on Scotland’s education and skills system to inform the Independent Advisor, James Withers’ recommendations to Ministers regarding the future of the skills delivery public body and advisory landscape.  

The consultation, which was launched on 28 October 2022, asked 23 questions across 7 broad themes: 

  • Skills Delivery Landscape, 

  • Apprenticeships, 

  • National Occupational Standards, 

  • Upskilling and Reskilling, 

  • Sector and Regional Skills Planning, 

  • Careers and Young People, and 

  • Employer Support and Engagement.

You said

The consultation closed on 23 December 2022. A total of 164 responses were received from a variety of stakeholders and individuals, with views from across the wide range of topics presented.  

We did

The responses to this consultation have informed James Withers’ final report and recommendations, now published, which was accompanied by an independent analysis of the consultation. Where permission was granted, the consultation responses are also available to view.  

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


In September 2022, the Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training set out to parliament that he would be initiating an independent review of the skills delivery landscape in Scotland as part of work to ensure that the skills system is fit for purpose for delivering Scotland’s national outcomes and meeting future economic challenges including the transition to net zero.

James Withers has been appointed as Advisor to the Review. The Terms of Reference set out his remit and the Review’s scope and purpose to explore how the public body and advisory landscape can be adapted to drive forward the Scottish Government’s outcomes and ambitions for skills. Specifically, it will look at the skills functions of Scotland’s public bodies and make recommendations on their roles and responsibilities within the future delivery landscape.

The purpose of this call for evidence is to gather evidence from all interested parties to inform recommendations in relation to the future of the skills delivery public body and advisory landscape, including the future remit and status of Skills Development Scotland.

This Review complements the programme of work that is underway to reform Scotland’s education landscape which includes a national discussion on a vision for school education, the creation of three new education bodies, the independent review of qualifications and assessment and the development of a purpose and principles for post-school education and skills development. 

Read the consultation paper 

 More Information

Webinar sessions

During the call for evidence period, a series of webinar sessions are being held. These aim to generate discussion with key user groups and capture views to inform the Advisor’s recommendations to Scottish Ministers. 

Following introductions and a brief overview of the review attendees will be asked to participate in discussion about the current skills delivery landscape and about one other theme relevant to the Review, chosen via a poll of all present at the beginning of the session.

To help focus discussions each session has a specific intended audience. If unable to attend your preferred session, please contact the Skills Delivery Review secretariat for advice (

The following sessions are now available for relevant individuals and organisations to register:   

Notes from the webinar discussions and views provided will form part of the evidence to inform the Advisor’s recommendations.   

Engagement with young people and learners    

Alongside the webinars sessions designed specifically to get the views of young people including current and potential learners will be held. These sessions will be tailored to ensure that young people can give their views in a way that suits their needs and requirements.  

Why your views matter

We recognise the interest there is on how the skills landscape can support our population develop the skills they need to thrive. The Skills Delivery Review will be evidence led, have a focus on future delivery and look to identify what works well and what could be improved. It is important that everyone who wishes to have a say has the opportunity to do so.

What happens next

The results of this process will be used to inform the work of the Independent Advisor to the Scottish Government which will conclude with an independent report by James Withers to the Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training by Spring 2023.Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help James Withers make his recommendations on the issues concerned. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be published. 


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