Enterprise and Skills Review

In May 2016, the First Minister announced an end-to-end review to ensure that our public agencies are delivering sufficient enterprise and skills support for Scotland's young people, universities, colleges, training providers, businesses and workers.

The Enterprise and Skills Review is being led by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, and supported by a Ministerial Review Group.

The Review's aims are to:

  • significantly improve enterprise and skills support, to help Scotland progress towards achieving our aim of ranking among the top quartile of OECD countries in terms of productivity, equality, wellbeing and sustainability
  • be driven by evidence, to listen to the views of service users, and to put forward proposals that respond to their needs
  • ensure a simpler and more coherent enterprise and skills support system

Phase 1: call for evidence

A call for evidence attracted 329 submissions from a range of organisations and individuals, culminating in the Enterprise and Skills Review: report on Phase 1 published in October 2016.

This report contained 10 recommendations focused on ensuring coherence and a simpler, more flexible and cost-effective system of national and local support.

Phase 2: projects

Phase 2 commenced in November 2016 with the start-up of nine projects to take forward the Phase 1 recommendations.

Ongoing engagement with key stakeholders – particularly from the business community – is central to the process of all these projects and will remain so as they move into implementation.

Further detail on this process is contained within Enterprise and Skills Review: report on Phase 2 which explains the vision, purpose and benefits of the programme and its individual projects, along with the outcomes and progress achieved during this phase.

Key actions set out in the Phase 2 report include:

  • creating a new Strategic Board to support the co‑ordination of agency activities around shared priorities, and to drive improved performance
  • creating a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland, to meet the distinct economic needs of the region and its communities
  • developing a more coherent, collaborative and streamlined system of business support, with a single digital access point
  • piloting a £500,000 College Innovation Fund to support colleges to work with businesses on innovation activity

Supporting documents for Phase 2

The Phase 2 report is supported by the formal Scottish Government response to Professor Crerar's report and a set of detailed workstream reports, listed below:

Looking ahead

The Review is now in its implementation phase, and the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board has been established to align and co-ordinate the activities of Scotland's enterprise and skills agencies. A Strategic Plan will be developed during 2018.

Progress is continuing across the range of actions which emerged from the Review, including the creation of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership. This partnership will deliver a fresh approach to economic development in the South of Scotland and help prepare the ground for the establishment of the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.