What is the Scottish Business Pledge? It’s built on: a commitment by the Scottish Government, its partners and an independent financial consultative group to support sustainable commercial activity in Scotland. This will include measures to build a resilient and competitive economy that creates jobs and helps the country’s wider economy. A shared commitment to improve the performance of Scottish companies, their employees and their enterprises.
When you look at the Scottish Government’s website, you can see the different sectors they are looking to support. However, there is also a “pledge of support” section, where they say that the Government is committed to “zero hours contracts” and to supporting “fair and sustainable employment”. This seems like a very good thing to me, as well as a commitment to investment in skills, infrastructure and growth areas. So, why do I ask, what is the Scottish business pledge?
Well, the first thing it does is make a statement about the commitment to “zero hours contracts”, and to “fair and sustainable employment”, and to developing a “diverse workforce”. So, this means that the Scottish Government is saying that they want to support the creation of jobs, and employment, and that they are going to actively promote and provide assistance where necessary, to make these happen. These are solid commitments and demonstrate that the Scottish Government to place more importance on retaining and attracting new companies, and people to the country than they do on devolving more powers to Holyrood.
The second important bit of information that can be gleaned from reading the Scottish business pledge is that the Scottish Government recognise the importance of attracting and retaining international business to the country. International businesses are vital to the economy, and the government recognises that it is important for Scotland to develop and attract these types of firms. The Scottish Government is also actively promoting internationalisation and dialogue with international organisations on the need for employment, development and investment in Scotland, which is a good thing, because I believe that internationalisation and dialogue are vital for the economy of any country, but particularly the one with a huge potential for growth and success in the future. The fact that the Scottish Government is committed to investing in these international activities, demonstrates their belief in the importance of these activities, and their desire to see Scotland become an increasingly successful nation, in the international markets.
Now, there are some criticisms of the Scottish Government’s attempt at internationalisation, and their commitment to low inward investment. The criticisms are mainly directed at the effect of the Scottish Government’s approach to overseas investment, which I believe is too cautious. As the economy grows and becomes more developed, the government needs to be more open to making investments in new technology and knowledge, and in using these new technologies to drive growth and development opportunities in Scotland, but I think the Scottish Government has done a pretty good job so far, especially in regards to environmental impact. Environmentally, the strategy has been very effective in reducing the impact of development and growth on the environment. However, there are still criticisms of how these methods have been implemented in certain parts of Scotland. These methods may still need to be adjusted, and I think that the Scottish Government should seriously consider adjusting these methods to make them more sustainable in the future.
The Scottish Business Pledge seems like an excellent initiative, which promotes the growth, development and commitment to a healthier economy. However, like all pledges there are problems, and perhaps the Scottish Government needs to address these problems before they can fully realise the benefits of the policy. However, if the Scottish Government can learn from its international competitors and commit to continued support for the development and prosperity of Scotland, the policy will be an exceptional policy and one which the rest of the world will want to adopt. If they do not, other countries might just follow suit and take their lead.