Plans to close Scotland’s productivity gap, including support to help firms trade intentionally, have been set out.
The new Enterprise and Skills Board’s 20-year strategic plan outlined 14 actions for the country’s five enterprise and skills agencies, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) and 18 recommendations for the Scottish Government.
The blueprint aims to move Scotland from its place in the bottom half of the OECD productivity rankings to the top 10.
Actions include helping firms sell goods through a national exporting service; programmes to assist mid-size firms to expand and internationalise; and a focus on improving leadership and management skills.
Board chairwoman Nora Senior 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.”
The body was set up following the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review, which saw a Ministerial u-turn over controversial plans to scrap HIE’s board.
Yesterday, HIE chief executive, Charlotte Wright said: “While the HIE Board continues to make key decisions for the agency and the region and reports directly to Scottish Ministers, the guidance and alignment provided by the Strategic Board will help improve the effectiveness and performance of all the enterprise and skills agencies.”