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Professional development opportunities in Scotland

Training and Courses in Scotland

Scotland is one of the four countries, together with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which make up the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain and in addition to the mainland is made up of around 800 islands. Scotland has a thriving and diversified economy that offers a range of different career opportunities for those living in the country, from financial services to oil and gas and renewable energy. In addition, the strong relationship between Scottish government, industry and the academic sector has produced a steady flow of initiatives, grants and policies dedicated to promoting education and skills development in order to meet recruitment demands.

Edinburgh, the capital, is home to the Scottish Government which is independently represented in both the European Union and European Parliament. Glasgow, the largest Scottish city, was once one of the world’s leading industrial cities. Scottish waters consist of a large part of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and contain the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third largest Scottish city, the title of Europe’s oil capital.

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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.