Employability, Skills and Learning Progress – Recommendation 13

Access thresholds

In fulfilling the recommendations from the Commission on Widening Access, all universities should consider how access thresholds can be specifically applied to the veterans community. Subsequently, they should advertise and promote these thresholds widely across the military and veterans sectors.

2019 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented

2019 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The college sector now has the opportunity to participate in the Scottish Government’s £10 million Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF). It supports employers to upskill and reskill members of their workforce through college training provision enabling them to adapt and grow. Employers can undertake training and development which will increase productivity, fill identified skills gaps, upskill and retrain the existing workforce. The fund has enabled employers to flex their training budgets to support a broader range of staff. In many cases, staff supported through this fund would otherwise not have had any other opportunities for workforce development support whilst in employment.

2020 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2020 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The Commission on Widening Access asked all Universities to implement access thresholds and they had been progressing with work to implement these for those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with care experience. SFC were asked to monitor progress on this but this has been impacted due to COVID.

However, we have considered the specific barriers veterans face when trying to access higher education, and the most appropriate interventions that can assist them. As many members of the Armed Forces leave with skills and qualifications, we consider recognition and accreditation of this prior learning to be a more effective approach than implementing access thresholds for veterans. We are taking forward work in this area through the Scottish Funding Council-funded Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP) project on mapping learning pathways and accrediting prior learning for Service Leavers and veterans.

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