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Skills Utilisation Cross-Sectoral Network

The Skills Utilisation Leadership Group has adopted the strategy Reaping the Benefits to help engage employers in making better use of skills, which includes taking a sectoral approach. The identified sectors are:

  • the key sectors outlined in the Government Economic Strategy (creative industries, energy, financial and business services, food and drink, life sciences and tourism) as well as the construction and university sectors; and
  • the local government, health and third sectors.

The role of the cross-sectoral network is fundamental to the successful implementation of that strategy.

Aim and Objectives of Employer Engagement Strategy

The aim of the strategy is to increase the number of employers co-creating with their employees workplace environments that make better use of skills. Its objectives are to:

1) increase awareness of the relevance and benefits of effective skills use to organisations and of the range of workplace practices that may improve skills use in the their type of workplace;

2) help organisations implement workplace change to improve skills use; and

3) better support key delivery agencies and stakeholders to deliver the above.

Role of the Cross-Sectoral Network

The role of the network is to connect a range of organisations in the public, private and third sectors with a common interest in encouraging the better use of workplace skills in Scotland to enable partners to work together and support each other, including by:

1) sharing information and learning from each other's expertise and experience (both good and bad) about:

a) workplace practices that help enable effective skills use, including through relevant partners planning and implementing their own corporate strategies to improve the use of the skills of their staff;

b) the evidence of the impact of those practices, including on organisational performance and productivity and on employee well-being and job satisfaction; and

c) the delivery of messages about effective skills use - both in terms of the messages and methods of communication to employers and intermediary bodies.

2) aligning services to support effective skills use and ensuring that they are accessed to maximum effect.

Partners of Network

The network comprises a range of partners with a common interest in encouraging more effective skills use. The list of partners is included in the guide for partners.

Role of Partners

To communicate messages about effective skills use to employers (and other relevant organisations):

  • integrated with wider communications about improving performance, productivity, competiveness and creating better jobs; and
  • differentiated where appropriate to reflect market positioning, geography and size of organisation and taking into account equalities issues.

Additional Role of Sector Leads

To co-ordinate activities with other organisations in their sector to develop and communicate sector-specific messages about effective skills use.

Additional Role of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

To communicate messages about cross-sectoral issues that impact on effective skills use e.g. the use of ICT systems and other technologies and common issues affecting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Papers of Meetings

Minutes of meetings and associated formal papers of the Network

It was agreed at the inaugural meeting of the Network that each organisation would provide a short paper outlining how they help encourage better use of workplace skills.


Work on skills utilisation is being informed by evidence from research.

Other Reports

Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement (MacLeod Review), BIS, July 2009

Trust: The key to enhanced business performance and accelerated recovery, Great Place to Work® Institute UK, August 2009

The Best Companies for Leadership 2009, Hay Group, 2010

Giving everyone the chance to shine: How leading organizations use engagement to drive performance cost-effectively (Please note that you will have to register with the site for free to download the document).

Exceeding Expectation: the principles of outstanding leadership, The Work Foundation, January 2010

Developing Leadership and Management Skills through Employer Networks, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, August 2010

Index of Leadership Trust 2010, Institute of Leadership and Management, September 2010

What is a Good Job? Current Perspectives on Work and Improved Health and Well-Being, The Open Occupational Health & Safety Journal, 2010, 2, 9-15, Wadsworth EJK, Chaplin K, Allen PH & Smith AP

Delivering the Promise of Management Practices, Chartered Management Institute and Advanced Institute of Management, November 2010

Employee Engagement and Business Investment in Skills, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, June 2011

Exploring employer behaviour in relation to Investors in People, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, June 2011

Exploring employer behaviour in relation to Investors in People - Executive summary, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, June 2011

Investors in People Research on the New Choices Approach, , UK Commission for Employment and Skills, June 2011

Investors in People Research on the New Choices Approach - Executive summary, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, June 2011

Useful Links

Additional useful links can be found here.