Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board: key achievements and lessons

This publication covers the key achievements of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board (ESSB) and their lessons for enhancing delivery. This will help inform the National Strategic for Economic Transformation (NSET) Delivery Board.

1. Introduction

The National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), published on 1 March 2022, set out the actions to transform the Scottish economy over the next 10 years. To ensure the successful implementation of the strategy, the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board (ESSB) will be replaced by the NSET Delivery Board.

This transition will establish a new model for the delivery of economic development programmes, strengthening the opportunities for public, private and third sectors to work together more cohesively to transform the Scottish economy. This new framework will build on the extensive work undertaken to date by the ESSB, which has been the catalyst for driving a step change in the way enterprise and skills agencies collaborate and align their products and services to enhance, and make it easier, for users to access support. For example, the Find Business Support (FBS) portal has brought together around 500 services from a number of different partners including Scottish Government (SG) to provide a one-stop shop for business support.

Many of the areas which the ESSB focused on as evidenced drivers of economic growth such as skills alignment, innovation and business models and workplace innovation, have been taken forward into NSET. The ESSB helped shape many of the actions within NSET and influenced the thinking around designing a new culture of delivery.

Importantly, the ESSB strengthened engagement with business across the enterprise and skills system in Scotland, providing a vital feedback loop to enhance the learning and support on offer.

To keep up the momentum of change, the NSET Delivery Board can draw heavily on the experience of the ESSB over the past five years. This report sets out the key achievements of the ESSB and identifies the main learnings on delivery to be taken forward if the SG is to successfully transform the way it supports the Scottish economy.


Email: NSETSecretariat@gov.scot

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