From April 2011 Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities has gone into liquidation with immediate effect – taking Skill Scotland with it (since Skill Scotland was a branch of Skill, without separate legal identity).
Skill Scotland supported many thousands of disabled people to get the best out of learning, training and employment opportunities, across Scotland. Originally this was done on a small scale with input from individual Skill members then, since 1997, with an office-based team of experts offering information and advice to individuals, as well as key policy and practice guidance to staff and institutions.
Skill Scotland events have included national conferences, seminars, disability training sessions, information stalls, & public events giving a hearing to the 'student voice'. A wide range of people have participated in our activities over the years: disabled learners (and disabled volunteers, trainees, job seekers & employees); staff from colleges and universities; staff from Social Work & careers services; staff from key government departments and public bodies; and MSPs.
Although Skill Scotland had already received agreement for a continued grant from the Scottish Government for 2011-12, the legal technicalities mean that the office in Scotland are unable to receive this money as the company no longer legally exists.
As the previous Skill Scotland staff team, we are hoping to make arrangements over the next few weeks to carry on the work – possibly either by setting up a new Scottish charity, or by having our core functions taken over by an existing, sister charity.
We know that there remains much important work still to be done, to support disabled people to make the most of learning, training and employment opportunities in Scotland (especially in the context of the new Equality Act, as well as the pressures and changes across the education sector). We are confident that we have the skills and experience to make a significant contribution, and would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have supported us over the years. We hope to be working with you again in due course, albeit with a different branding!
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR SETTING UP A NEW SUPPORT ORGANISATION FOR DISABLED STUDENTS IN SCOTLAND.