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Enterprise and Skills Review

Brown confirms South of Scotland agency

Keith Brown: (photo by Terry Murden)

Keith Brown: distinctive needs (photo by Terry Murden)


An enterprise agency will be created to meet the economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.

The final report from the Enterprise and Skills Review contains a wide range of measures to support business, ensure young people have access to the right skills, and create growth across the Scottish economy.

These include improved access to innovation, enterprise and international support and streamlined skills provision.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown launched the report today. He said: “This review has delivered a package of reforms that will drive change across the country.

“We have recognised the importance of providing dedicated support to the South of Scotland in the same way we currently do for the Highlands and Islands. A new agency will be established to meet the distinctive economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.

“We are putting a greater urgency behind our innovation action plan and joining up the efforts of our skills agencies to help learners and businesses get the training they need.”

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, offered support to the new agency, adding: “What we need to see now is exactly how the private sector can have a role to provide the leadership and guidance necessary to make these new structures work. 

“The new framework must deliver real change for the better in a very short timescale and this must be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that there is material progress in supporting Scotland’s businesses and growing our economy.”

The final report from the Enterprise and Skills Review confirms significant progress, including:

  • A new enterprise agency to boost growth in the South of Scotland
  • A more coherent, collaborative and streamlined system of business support, including development of a single digital access point
  • Piloting a £500k College Innovation Fund to support Scotland’s colleges to work with businesses on innovation activity
  • A new, five-stage skills planning model developed jointly by the skills agencies
  • Strengthened engagement with regional partnerships, including closer work with the private sector
  • A review of the learner journey for 15-24 year olds to ensure it provides the best path to success
  • Boosting trade and investment in Scotland by better co-ordinating international activity
  • A Strategic Board to be set up in autumn 2017, guiding overall direction of the enterprise and skills agencies
  • A cross-agency analytical unit set up to drive performance and ensure business support decisions are based on the best data available
  • An Implementation Board, chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar, to take forward this work immediately.
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