CIPD sets out skills vision for Scotland

The CIPD’s annual Scotland Conference gets underway today in Edinburgh with Fair Work, Skills and Training cabinet secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP offering the opening address.

Scottish flag over Edinburgh
Describing the skills Scotland needs for its economy to perform, be resilient and innovative, Ms Cunningham will be joined on stage by head of the professional body for HR and people development in Scotland, Dr John McGurk.In this Scottish Parliament election year, Dr McGurk will discuss the HR profession's opportunity to help build productivity and prosperity in the Scottish economy, and ensure a skilled future for Scotland at what he called  a "pivotal moment".Speaking ahead of the conference, Dr McGurk said, "The key economic challenge facing the next Scottish Government will be to help create the conditions needed for sustained productivity growth, as it's only through this that we're likely to see sustained growth in the economy and in incomes. This has to start with a strong focus on skills; attracting, retaining and developing talent will ultimately enable Scotland to really compete on a global stage"Scotland has long been known for its ingenuity and enterprise but the slowdown in North Sea operations, increased inactivity in the labour market and the need to rebuild our infrastructure means we've reached a pivotal moment that will define Scotland's future success," said Dr McGurk.With this in mind, the CIPD is launching at the conference a policy progamme that celebrates and supports Scotland's economy, as well as set out measures it believes will build sustainability and greater inclusion.Based on its manifesto, Opportunity through work: A manifesto for Scotland, the CIPD is calling on policymakers in the next government to encourage more workplace development and investment in skills.It is recommending more initiatives like high-quality apprenticeships that enable young people to get on in the labour market are strengthened, as well as approaches that build stronger relationships between education and business.It also makes the case for measures to support greater workplace diversity and inclusion. This includes the use of blind shortlists to ensure "issues of ethnicity, race and class are not barriers to participation and accelerate the proportion of women on Scottish corporate boards and public agencies."On unemployment and employment rights, the CIPD is calling for greater rights and job security for flexible workers and a more supportive welfare system that "helps to include everyone in the world of work...through the development of a four-tiered approach to inclusion in the labour market.""We're delighted to launch our Manifesto for Scotland," commented Dr McGurk, "and look forward to welcoming Scotland's HR and learning and development professionals to our annual conference where we'll explore the vital role of people in business productivity."For more HR news and features from Re:locate, please click here.

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