Scotland has a strong economy and is wealthy and productive, allied with colleges and universities that educate, build confidence, develop skills, encourage innovation and help drive the economic growth we need. Our enterprise and skills agencies (Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Funding Council) play an important role in delivering Scotland's Economic Strategy, supporting economic development in Scotland and enabling every individual to achieve their potential. But the economic challenges are increasing.
Scotland’s Economic Strategy sets out the approach to achieving our national Purpose and the ambition for Scotland to rank in the top quartile of OECD nations for productivity and wellbeing. The approach is based around two mutually supportive goals of increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality. The strategy sets out four priority areas for supporting sustainable economic growth:
Investing in our people and our infrastructure in a sustainable way;
Fostering a culture of innovation and research and development;
Promoting inclusive growth and creating opportunity through a fair and inclusive jobs market and regional cohesion; and,
Promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost our trade and investment, influence and networks.
To enable the agencies to play a full role in supporting the delivery of the priorities in Scotland’s Economic Strategy, it is important that they collaborate behind a clear and shared vision; have a common understanding of their roles, responsibilities and what services and investments to prioritise; and use their skills and tools to respond confidently and flexibly to changing economic circumstances.
Why We Are Consulting
In her Priorities for Government speech on 25 May 2016, the First Minister announced that the Scottish Government would undertake an ‘end-to-end’ review of enterprise and skills services. This Call for Evidence invites you to contribute your views so we can ensure that Scottish Government and all our public agencies are delivering the joined-up support that our young people, universities, colleges and businesses need.
What Happens Next
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, will lead a Ministerial Review Group over the summer, playing a vital role in ensuring that the review is robust, produces sound and evidence-based recommendations, and is driven forward with energy and creativity.