Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Skills and Enterprise Agencies to be Reviewed, Economy Secretary Keith Brown Pledges

01/06/2016 - The roles of Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise are to be reviewed as a part of the Scottish Government’s new approach to the economy, the new Economy Secretary Keith Brown has announced.

The review will be led by Brown himself. “The review will consider how best to deliver and enhance the Agencies’ services and functions to meet new client expectations and deliver on Government ambitions around productivity,” he said.

Brown’s new role is part of a restructuring of the cabinet which saw the finance brief split into two roles. Brown took responsibility for jobs and the economy while Derek Mackay oversees the country’s finances.

Last week Nicola Sturgeon said the relationship between the enterprise, skills and development agencies would also be looked at.

Labour MSP Colin Smyth said the current model produced geographical inequalities.
"It is simply unfair that a business in the Highlands and Islands can receive support, but—because the remit of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is different from that of Scottish Enterprise—the same business would not receive the same support if it was based in the south of Scotland," he said.

The Scottish Labour manifesto before May’s election proposed merging Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland into a new singular ‘Skills Scotland’ quango.

Scottish Enterprise previously had a skills remit until the creation of Skills Development Scotland in 2008, which merged Careers Scotland, the Scottish University for Industry and modern apprenticeships.

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