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Upskilling Scotland

Increased skills, employability, and productivity are vital to help Scotland's economy. The Open University is committed to providing accessible upskilling opportunities for individuals and businesses across the length and breadth of Scotland.


Partnership working is an essential element to the upskilling work we do. We work collaboratively across all sectors at local, regional and national levels to strengthen our shared goal of reaching and supporting people who will benefit from upskilling. Through these partnerships, we are able to reach a wider audience and widen access to education. 


The Open University in Scotland uses a wide range of funding streams, enabling us to provide a number of fully-funded places to people who are in need of upskilling for their existing career or reskilling into a new career. 

OU students also benefit from the part-time fee grant scheme, which covers course fees for eligible students.  

Our accredited undergraduate and postgraduate microcredentials are popular courses for upskilling within a short period of time. There are free places available to people in Scotland on fully-funded microcredentials for career progression and on fully-funded microcredentials for the Community Learning and Development workforce. 

Free online resources

Using our free learning site OpenLearn, we provide online learning to identify and tackle employability and skills development. We provide bespoke collections of the OpenLearn courses, tailored to the needs of people in Scotland who are facing redundancy, job seekers, young people and for communities, as shown in the examples below. 

Also Open Learning Champions bring the OU's free online open educational resources to communities across Scotland. 

We work with businesses, communities, and individuals to provide workplace skills.

  A seated man, looking at his laptop screen

Employability skills

We support workers who are at risk of redundancy to gain skills for career and employment opportunities, from a dedicated skills portal to online webinars and individual advice.

A young woman on a stationary bike, looking at her mobile phone

Job seekers & young people

Job seekers and young people across Scotland can access free training to support work skills and career prospects through an online portal.

Two workers in a small business

Small to medium-sized and apprenticeship levy-paying businesses

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Scotland can access training up to the value of £5,000, provided by the OU to support staff development. Apprenticeship Levy-paying employers across Scotland can access training up to the value of £15,000. 

A woman working at home on a laptop

Community Councils

Community councillors in Scotland can access a unique portal of free online OU courses which includes collections on digital skills, business skills, finance and fundraising, and community and society.

A woman at a laptop wearing a headset and talking, while moving her hands

Community learning and development workforce

Scotland's community learning and development (CLD) workforce can benefit from a bespoke portal of free OU online courses, plus accredited OU short courses fully-funded by the Scottish Government for CLD workers.