I strongly welcome this week's announcement by the Scottish Funding Council that 2,550 new work placements will be made available to college and university students in Scotland over the next four years.
Employers are continually on the look-out for those graduates who are able to combine the academic rigour of a degree with relevant experience acquired in the workplace. This scheme should help to build valuable long- term links between employers and the further education sector, to the benefit of both. Employers will benefit from building a strong relationship with potential new talent at the critical early stages of their career. At the same time, the initiative will also ensure that the skills developed by students during their time at college or university are better matched to the particular needs of their future employers.
With a focus on those key sectors offering the greatest potential for future job creation and economic growth, this scheme will make a major contribution towards matching workforce skills to the current and future needs of the Scottish economy.
Jacqui Hepburn, director, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, Scotland.