Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work, and Skills, has said Scotland can continue to prosper and thrive in a post-Brexit world, provided the public and private sector works together to deliver services.
Mr Hepburn spoke at the Reimagining Economic Development After Brexit seminar in Edinburgh on Thursday, co-produced by the Economic Development Association Scotland and SLAED, the Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group, and supported by COSLA.
Scottish Ministers are meeting partners in local government, enterprise and skills agencies, the business sector, representatives of trades unions, academia and others on a daily basis to ensure Scotland’s economy is protected - as much as it can be - following Brexit.
Mr Hepburn stressed the importance of Scotland having the necessary workforce to support a modern, strong, and diverse economy.
The SNP Government will integrate and expand upskilling and reskilling provision, working with unions and employers’ organisations through the new National Retraining Partnership.
Public procurement will also be used to create more opportunities for Scottish businesses, including increasing the level of digital transactions and digital invoicing, streamlining processes and redeploying resources to focus on faster payments.
A ‘Come to Scotland’ campaign will be launched to attract talent and investment and help mitigate Brexit. Campaigns will also build the international profile of Digital Scotland in order to attract investors, designers, entrepreneurs and technical talent to Scotland.
This fresh action builds on crucial work already underway such as establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank and National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. The National Infrastructure Mission announced in this year’s Programme for Government will see Scotland’s annual infrastructure investment steadily increase until it is £1.5 billion higher by the end of the next Parliament than in 2019-20.
Mr Hepburn stated:
"It is important that the Scottish Government is very direct and active on behalf of Scotland’s people and economy.
"We will continue to stand up for Scotland – pressing for a future relationship with the EU that benefits our country and our neighbours on these islands and across the continent.
"That is why we have placed the achievement of inclusive growth at the heart of our economic plans. We want business to thrive. We want to encourage the creation of new jobs and enthuse our young people to consider their own entrepreneurial potential and the potential in their communities. We are pro-business and pro-growth.''