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Business Comment on Scottish Government Enterprise & Skills Review

Tue, 2016-10-25 12:44

Commenting on the Enterprise and Skills Review announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of SCC said:

“This is the right time to be carrying out a detailed review of what practical business support Government and its agencies are providing and the economic impact of the interventions.”

“Businesses are used to operating and changing rapidly to meet customer demands and deal with financial pressures, and Government must develop an environment which is just as ready to adapt.  It is not always about financial support, but also about investing in infrastructure, reducing bureaucracy, creating supportive business processes and efficient business planning. The joining up of the myriad of agencies and support organisations is also a welcome step.”

“This review is important for the Scottish economy and its final recommendations require cross party support as we move into the next phase of change and delivery.”

Commenting on the initial findings:

  • On Skills:
    “Skills is an area which has been improving over the last twelve months, but much more needs to be done.  It is business that creates the apprenticeships and jobs.  We are pleased this is recognised in this review with a much stronger focus on future labour market needs driving the funding streams.”
  • On Measurements:
    “We are pleased that Scottish Government is recognising the urgent need to introduce more efficient measurements and this will help to identify what is adding economic value and what is not”;
  • On Flexibility:
    “We welcome the recognition that one size does not fit all and although we are a small country, we have unique local and regional needs and strengths. Empowering local business leaders to work more closely with our partners in the public sector is key to boosting collaboration”;
  • On Internationalisation:
    “Internationalisation is one of the “big wins” for Scotland’s economy, if we get it right.  We need to rapidly increase the partnership between business and the public sector to drive our exporting agenda.  Business and public sector have unique strengths and superb connectivity across the world, but it is consistently being underutilised and real collaboration will unlock our exporting potential.”
  • On Digital Connectivity:
    “Digital Connectivity is a welcomed focus within the review.  The majority of small and medium sized businesses need practical hands-on support.  We need to “up our game” in this area – the technology exists but business needs the skills to utilise it effectively to enable increases in productivity and grow our customer base.  As well as the skills base, we need to revisit digital infrastructure and ensure all businesses are able to access at speed and on a 24/7 basis.”