Curriculum for Excellence (Renewables Industry)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 26 June 2013.

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Photo of Chic Brodie Chic Brodie Scottish National Party

17. To ask the Scottish Government how the curriculum for excellence will ultimately generate the skills necessary for the growing renewables industry. (S4O-02308)

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

Learning and skills development relating to energy, including renewables, are embedded in the curriculum for excellence and feature in a number of qualifications. Within the curricular areas of sciences, technologies and social studies, learners investigate the use and development of renewable energy. Links can be made to the cross-curricular theme of sustainable development education.

Education Scotland has developed a range of resources to support teaching on energy and build young people’s awareness of careers in the sector, including learning journeys on renewables within STEM central and a leaflet for schools called “Working in the energy sector: A guide for teachers and those who provide careers advice”.

Photo of Chic Brodie Chic Brodie Scottish National Party

Not including the supply chain, Scotland’s renewable energy industries already support about 12,000 jobs. The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee recently heard that a further 60,000 engineers and project managers will be required over the next 10 years to support Scotland’s energy industries.

Ensuring that our schoolchildren have the necessary skills to meet that challenge will make a huge contribution to achieving Scotland’s ambitious energy targets. Does the minister agree that we must do all that we can to give our schoolchildren at the earliest stage the awareness and skills that they may need to engage in that huge employment opportunity?

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

I agree that it is absolutely imperative that young people—in particular, young women—are aware of the opportunities in the energy sector and that our schoolchildren have the opportunity to develop the skills and qualifications that they need to unlock job opportunities in that area. I am aware of the committee’s inquiry and its interest in getting more women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics and careers in those subjects.

As Chic Brodie will be aware, at the heart of curriculum for excellence are skills for learning, life and work. Uptake and attainment in science and maths, particularly at higher and advanced higher level, continue to be strong.

On a broader theme, energy skills Scotland and the commission for developing Scotland’s young workforce both have a positive contribution to make to facilitating partnerships that create better connectivity between the worlds of education and work, so that our young people are better informed and have better pathways to the opportunities that exist now and those that will exist tomorrow.