Centre for Workplace Transformation and Business Purpose Commission: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Details of the purpose and remit of the Centre for Workplace Transformation, on what date it will/did launch, how many staff it (a) currently and (b) will in future employ, and what the cost of this project is (i) to date, (ii) will be for the remaining period prior to its launch, and (iii) annually once it is launched.

You also asked for details of the purpose and remit of the short-life Business Purpose Commission for Scotland, on what date it will/did launch, how many staff it (a) currently and (b) will in future employ, and what the cost of this project is (i) to date, (ii) will be for the remaining period prior to its launch, and (iii) annually once it is launched.

Finally, you requested details of who sits on the short-life Business Purpose Commission for Scotland and how members were selected.


The answers to your questions are detailed below:

As outlined in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation NSET, the Centre for Workplace Transformation was aimed at supporting experimentation in ways of working post-pandemic, including hybrid working, to deliver good jobs and to help businesses attract and retain talent, recognising the importance of the way workplaces operate and making the best use of employees' skills to enhance business performance and profitability. When considering the potential remit of the CfWT, analysis showed that there are already a number of institutions and programmes dedicated to improving workplace productivity and wellbeing, and which are already effectively engaging with businesses at scale. Launching a new Centre for Workplace Transformation would have added to this landscape. In the current fiscal and economic climate, we have had to make some tough decisions around prioritising our commitments to ensure help reaches those who need it most. Therefore, in order to ensure the best value for money, we decided not to open a dedicated new Centre. In his response to the Covid-19 Recovery Committee’s inquiry into the impact of the pandemic on Scotland's labour market, The Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work set out the Government’s decision not to open a dedicated new Centre SG Response - Covid Recovery Commitee. To date no funds have been spent on developing the CFWT.

The Business Purpose Commission for Scotland was a joint initiative between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) to consider creative ways in which the purposeful business agenda can be nurtured in Scotland. The commission first met on 8 September 2021, and was formally launched on 19 November 2021. The Commission undertook a short (9 month) programme of work developing recommendations for how more purposeful businesses can be developed in Scotland. The Commission published its report ‘Now is the time for Purpose: putting purpose at the heart of Scottish business’ on 28 June 2022. The Scottish Government response to the recommendations in the Business Purpose Commission's report was published on 10 January 2023.The funding paid for one staff member at SCDI in the role of secretariat for the Commission, in addition to research and digital media products to support the written report. The co-Chairs and members of the Commission gave their time voluntarily. The total cost of the project was £69, 400. The Commission members were drawn from businesses across Scotland of all sizes and different ownership models. Representatives from a range of academic institutions, trade unions and the third sector were also selected for their expertise. SCDI led the appointment process with Scottish ministers agreeing the final membership.


  • Colin Mayer CBE, Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, The University of Oxford/ Academic Lead, The Future of the Corporation Programme, The British Academy
  • Amanda Young, Global Head of Responsible Investment, Aberdeen Standard Investments


  • Lewis Hedge, Deputy Director Fair Work, Employability and Skills Directorate, Scottish Government Professor Sara Carter CBE FRSE, Professor of Entrepreneurship & Vice-Principal and Head of College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow
  • Sarah Davidson, Chief Executive, Carnegie Trust UK
  • Sean Duffy, Chief Executive, The Wise Group
  • Douglas Farish, Head of Tax for Scotland, and Senior Partner, Edinburgh office, Deloitte
  • Patricia Findlay, Professor of Work, Employment and Organisation, University of Strathclyde
  • Crawford Gillies, Chair, Edrington
  • Alison Graham, Company Secretary, Baillie Gifford
  • Jamie Grant, Owner & Director, Glen Lyon Coffee
  • Poonam Gupta OBE, CEO, PG Paper Company Ltd
  • Dr Ifeyniwa Kanu, CEO & Founder, IntelliDigest
  • Josiah Lockart, CEO, Firstport Group
  • David McNeill, Director of Development, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Jamie Maxton, Head of External Relations (Scotland), SSE Renewables
  • Andrew Murphy, Group Operations Director, John Lewis Partnership
  • Paula Murphy, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Wood
  • Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary, Unite the Union
  • Brie Read, Entrepreneur and Founder, Snag Tights
  • Clare Reid, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, SCDI
  • Dr Lesley Sawers OBE, Non-Executive Director, Crosswind Developments
  • Ian Walker, Global Programme Lead, Essential Surgery, Janssen
  • Scott Wilson, Executive Director – Development, Robertson Group
  • Eliot Wishlade, Director, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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