Better productivity ‘worth £25bn to Scots economy’

A new CBI Scotland report has claimed that improving productivity and unlocking growth across Scotland’s regions could be worth up to £25 billion to the Scottish economy over the next decade – increasing the size of the economy by as much as 15%.

Pursuing Prosperity: Why Regional Productivity Growth Matters for Scotland’s Future shows that while productivity performance in Scotland has caught up with UK performance over the last decade, it still falls short of international competitors.

The report uncovers vast regional disparities in productivity across Scotland, with the highest performing local authority found to be more than 50% more productive than the lowest.

From new research, four drivers of regional productivity difference across Scotland were identified:

  1. Educational achievement and skills training
  2. Transport and connectivity
  3. Management practices and innovation
  4. Exporting

CBI Scotland called for the establishment of a business-led productivity taskforce that brings together representatives from government and the business community to focus on driving productivity growth.

CBI Scotland Director Hugh Aitken said: “Against a backdrop of EU negotiations and new revenue raising powers for the Scottish parliament, there has never been a more important time to focus on improving productivity across Scotland.

“If we’re serious about generating sustainable, inclusive growth then unlocking regional productivity must be a priority.

“While productivity gains for Scotland overall should be welcomed, too many regions are being left behind.

“By bringing government and business together to focus on these four drivers we can go some way to making Scotland a more attractive destination for investment.

“With EU negotiations beginning this week, we hope that this report can be a timely reminder to the Scottish and UK governments of the need to remain focussed on the economy.”