Government backing

Funding support for scheme boosting productivity

Eleonora Vanello, PCS programme manager: tangible impact

A scheme designed to help SMEs improve their productivity through shared experiences has received further funding support from the Scottish Government.

Productivity Club Scotland (PCS), run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, has received £200,000 to enable the programme to continue into a fourth year.

The PCS was expanded last year to support the delivery of Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation to help upskill business, third and public sector leaders in the practical actions they can take to boost their organisation’s productivity.

A National Productivity Programme is also one of the key planks in the Scottish Government’s recently published Innovation Strategy, which highlights the role that the established PCS network can play to support peer-to-peer learning around productivity.

The funding will enable PCS to continue to expand the network and to deliver a calendar of free peer-to-peer learning events, where attendees learn how to do things better and smarter in their business or organisation.

A recent evaluation of PCS highlighted the impact of the clubs and where they are meeting need – 52% of attendees hadn’t been anywhere else for support and 52% also indicated they took action to implement something they had learned at a club.

This includes Women’s Enterprise Scotland which has estimated that by implementing improvements learned from attending the clubs, it has helped achieve an uplift in turnover of £600,000 for the businesses it supports.

Carolyn Currie, chief executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, said: “Many small and medium sized businesses lack the finances to pay for expert consultancy over a period of days or weeks and do not qualify for enterprise agency growth support.

“The Productivity Club provides support and harnesses the huge value in peer support on the practical application of investment and what works.

As a result of attending the events we supported other businesses to engage with employees to support their wellbeing and involve them in the decision-making processes.”

Eleonora Vanello, programme manager at PCS ,said: “Increasing productivity and innovation in Scotland is crucial to transforming the economy. 

“As demonstrated in our evaluation, there has been a tangible impact on those businesses who attend the clubs and we are happy to play our part in increasing Scotland’s productivity and achieving a more inclusive, wellbeing economy.”

Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, added: “Our National Innovation Strategy sets out the ambition to develop a National Productivity Programme which will support companies in all parts of Scotland become more efficient by adopting new technologies, processes and leadership methods.

“Established and impactful initiatives, like Productivity Club Scotland will play a critical role in delivering this ambition, which is why I am pleased to be extending our partnership with the SCDI, enabling it to continue supporting smaller businesses and third sector organisations across the country.”

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