New call for action

Productivity plan calls for ‘cohesive’ action from agencies

Nora SeniorA 20-year plan is unveiled today which demands Scotland’s network of agencies work more closely together to tackle the country’s poor productivity record.

The Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board recommends a series of actions for Scotland’s five enterprise and skills agencies and a blueprint for Government.

The board has considered how programmes and activities can be delivered more cohesively to make Scottish companies scale up, grow and globalise and prepare for automation and digitalisation as well challenges such as climate change.  

A number of recommendations to Government have been made around exploiting the potential of digitalisation and new technologies, including those that support the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Digital literacy is flagged as being central to developing enterprise and education across Scotland. The plan calls for the agencies to make use of new data sources and predictive analytics to improve big data, and calls for measures to encourage greater uptake of digital skills and technologies by business and education.

It says the customer will be at the centre, with advice easier to access and bespoke support drawn ‘cross-agency’ to deliver a more cohesive approach to programme delivery.

Nora Senior (pictured), chairman of the board said: “Among the 36 OECD members, Scotland currently sits mid-table for productivity. Closing this gap would mean more money for individuals to spend, improved business competitiveness and profits, and would deliver higher tax revenues to help fund better public services – it is a prize worth winning. 

“Shifting the dial on productivity and inclusive growth will require everybody stepping forward to play their part. Business, skills providers and learners must also engage to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of the interventions delivered by the agencies.” 

The plan has a 20 year horizon, but because of the fluidity of geopolitical and economic circumstances, it will be updated annually to ensure it is fit for purpose and responsive to ever changing global conditions.

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