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Workforce Productivity (Action)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 13th December 2017.

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Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

6. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase workforce productivity. (S5O-01599)

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

Scotland’s labour productivity growth has outstripped the United Kingdom’s in recent years. Gross domestic product per hour worked has increased by 6.6 per cent in Scotland since 2007, compared with 0.8 per cent for the UK as a whole. The Scottish Government recognises that improving the productivity of our workforce is a central driver of inclusive economic growth. That is why we are taking forward a range of programmes, such as our investment in skills, developing the young workforce, addressing inequalities in our workforce, and the fair work agenda.

Through the enterprise and skills review, we have also established a clear, forward-looking agenda to improve the system of enterprise and skills support in Scotland and to make a substantial and valuable contribution to increasing our productivity and broader economic performance. I hope that those actions and the progress thus far will be welcomed by the member.

Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

The cabinet secretary will be aware of the impact of poor physical and mental health on productivity, so strategies such as the mental health strategy and the obesity and diet strategy can have huge implications for the nation’s productivity. With that in mind, what input does the cabinet secretary’s team have across other portfolios?

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

We make regular contributions at Cabinet level among Cabinet colleagues, and also between ministerial colleagues. The mental health strategy is much more in the portfolio of my colleague Maureen Watt. If the member has any particular questions on that I would be happy to furnish him with answers, but he can be assured that there is regular collaboration between Cabinet ministers and ministers across portfolios.