Scottish Office moves to merge academic and vocational education in school-leaving qualifications seem likely to please both the Scottish public and employers.
The Scottish Office Education Department this week published a comparison of Scottish views with those of random samples from 12 countries carried out under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Scottish employers and the public in Scotland attach significantly more importance to technology, the sciences and mathematics than the OECD average.
But while both groups make maths and English the top priority, 85 per cent of employers see information technology as essential, compared to 73 per cent of the public, and 74 per cent of employers consider foreign languages very important, compared to 61 per cent of the public.
Both Scottish groups, along with the OECD public, rate personal, social and vocational qualitities and aptitudes more highly than traditional curriculum subjects. The top priorities for both Scottish employers and public are self confidence, and the skills and knowledge which will help to get a job, both of which are rated more highly than by the OECD public.