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More about Professional development opportunities in Scotland

With a population of around 5.3 million, Scotland’s economic output, measured in terms of GVA (Gross Value Added) per capita, is on a similar level to that of the UK as a whole. Similarly to others across Europe, the Scottish economy is now a modern one, meaning that it has diversified moved away from a traditional reliance on manufacturing to a greater focus on services. Thriving industries include:

Within the energy sector, the country’s extensive oil and gas reserves have created a particularly high demand for energy-related skills, with the Scottish Government predicting a need for 95,000 new recruits between 2013 and 2020. As a result, Scotland is one of the most popular locations for training in oil and gas, with Aberdeen a primary destination for those looking to train both in technical areas – drilling, exploration, production, petrophysics – and in aspects such as project management, auditing, accounting and management for oil & gas operations.

Vocational Qualifications in Scotland

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is responsible for the country’s education awards and accreditation, playing a role equivalent to that of Ofqual in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The most well-known type of vocational qualification regulated by the SQA is the Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ), a competence-based award developed in line with National Occupational Standards (NOS) that certifies a professional’s ability to work effectively in a real working environment. An equivalent to England’s National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), SVQs are available at 5 different levels and across a wide range of industries, from accounting to jewellery, to mechanical engineering.

Funding for this type of qualification and other professional training programmes is available via Skills Development Scotland, the national body responsible for supporting individuals and organisations in their skills development.