Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board questions: FOI release

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

Information requested

Ms Sturgeon had a Skills commission charged with developing plans and recommendations for Industry etc in Scotland

  • Is the commission still in force?
  • What recommendations were made?
  • What reports were issued?
  • What recommendations were implemented?
  • What benefits resulted?



Is the commission still in force?

Yes it is still in force. The Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board was created in November 2017 in response to the Enterprise and Skills Review. Its objective is to align and co-ordinate the activities of Scotland's enterprise and skills agencies: Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

The Strategic Board seeks to maximise the impact of the collective investment that Scotland makes in enterprise and skills development, and to create the conditions that are conducive to delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.


What recommendations were made?

The aims of the Strategic Board are as follows:

  • improve the overall performance of the economy by ensuring that the whole Enterprise and Skills System delivers Scotland's Economic Strategy and supporting strategies, in all parts of Scotland
  • through collective responsibility ensure hard alignment between agencies to drive improvement in Scottish productivity and better support business and users of the skills system
  • hold agencies to account for performance against agreed measures
  • to actively engage with other agencies and bodies who support the economy with a view to increasing alignment and challenging others where collaboration is not happening
  • to deliver wider collective leadership, based on common culture and values, and which inspires and empowers delivery


What reports were issued?

In June 2018 the Board published its outline strategic plan which was a precursor to the full strategic plan to be published later that year.

The full strategic plan was published in October 2018, outlining a series of actions for Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies and a blueprint to the government, aimed at driving productivity and inclusive growth.


What recommendations were implemented?

14 agency actions and 18 recommendations for Government are outlined around four interconnected missions: Skills for the Future; Business Models and Workplace Innovation; Business Creation and Growth and Exports.

The Board has considered how programmes and activities around these missions can be delivered more cohesively to make Scottish companies more resilient in the face of a changing global landscape; how they can scale up, grow and globalise and prepare for future opportunities such as automation and digitalisation and challenges such as climate change.

It also encourages a shift to a more demand-led skills system that better responds to the current and future skills needs of employers and individuals, including expanding work-based learning, and increasingly supports individuals to upskill and reskill.


What benefits resulted?

The Enterprise and Skills Board is still implementing its Strategic Plan. A culture of collaborative working, support and open dialogue has been developed across the four agencies. This has led to changes in the way agencies work together, co-design interventions, share resources, and engage with industry.

But we have already seen significant progress towards a more coherent, collaborative and streamlined system of business support, including the development of a single digital access point. The single digital access point will be part of a programme of transformation towards a truly digitally-enabled business support environment across Scoltand, helping to reach more businesses and open up new routes to growth.

The Enterprise and Skills Board has also led to the creation of an Analytical Unit which is developing a performance framework that will allow the Board to monitor impacts and outcomes of agency activity and to understand where Scotland’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
The Board is also helping to inform Scottish Government Policy. The initial response to the 18 recommendations set out in the Strategic Board’s Strategic Plan formed part of the content of the Scottish Government’s Economic Action Plan, published on 24 October 2018.


About FOI

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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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