SCDI to partner with Scottish Government on Productivity Club pilots

SCDI welcomes the publication of the Scottish Government’s Economic Action Plan today (Wednesday 24 October), which includes a commitment to pilot Productivity Clubs in partnership with SCDI.

The new Economic Action Plan, promised in the Programme for Government 2018-19, sets out a range of important and positive actions to be taken by the Scottish Government to deliver increased inclusive growth.

The Plan’s commitment to a ‘competitive and stable fiscal regime’ and to launch a ‘Come to Scotland’ campaign to attract talent and investment will be strongly supported by members of SCDI.  In response to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and a shrinking workforce, SCDI has been calling for Scotland to remain an open, inclusive economy which welcomes immigration.

In addition, the Plan also includes a National Infrastructure Mission to address transport and digital connectivity and increase infrastructure investment until it is £1.5 billion higher by 2025-26. A new Infrastructure Commission will identity priority projects which will ‘unlock the greatest productivity gains’.

Productivity is critical to successful businesses and successful economies. Scotland has many highly productive businesses, but also a long tail of businesses which lag behind our leading firms and similar organisations in other countries.

Studies have shown that better leadership, management and technological practices in other countries has led to higher levels of productivity. Scotland has a long-standing aim to improve in this area, with the target to rank in the top quartile of OECD countries for productivity.

The Scottish Government confirmed that in partnership with SCDI it will work with business to pilot two Productivity Clubs to facilitate knowledge exchange and to support improved leadership and management practices and greater diffusion of innovation and technology.

The Plan also recognises the importance of developing and growing the Blue Economy, the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and employment.  SCDI is developing an investment prospectus for the Blue Economy in partnership with Heriot-Watt University, business and stakeholders.

SCDI’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Matt Lancashire, commented on the plan:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Scottish Government to pilot the Productivity Clubs model. Improving productivity is a key issue for businesses and organisations across all sectors and all geographies of the Scottish economy.

“We believe that this approach could help increase productivity throughout the Scottish economy, by supporting businesses who want to improve their own performance and share their advice and experiences to help others do the same.

“There is real enthusiasm from the business community to get involved and support the Clubs. We will also work with our partners in the private sector and in higher and further education.

“We’re really looking forward to working closely with the Scottish Government to achieve our shared vision of a highly productive Scottish economy and to support delivery of the other commitments within the Economic Action Plan.”