Scotland the Blog: Sizzling September and the heat continues

No not the weather, though we have had some nice bright days, if you truly want to sizzle you want to join Scotland’s ageing snowbirds who are cashing in their pensions to escape our climate!  The sizzle I speak of pace of change and activity in Scotland. It’s almost a year since the Scottish referendum and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. It would take a city like Perth with its many bridges to provide enough passing under capacity for the flow of events!  Momentous questions of politics, of national destiny of our economic future have over the past year been the order of the day. I don’t need to spell them out. What they have done is make it more important than ever that we in CIPD Scotland have an offer to build the economy and society of Scotland. We highlighted that approach in our report Scotland’s Skilled Future. We will be sharing our insight soon with the Scottish parliament as we build the case for people and development.

With Scotland’s employment rate at its highest and our level of unemployment at its lowest our economy even with the headwinds of the oil and gas market is no basket case. Yet it does have challenges not least in oil and gas,  the industry most impacted.  I would not have predicted that we would be running alternatives to redundancy workshops on behalf of Skills Development Scotland to support the energy industry, but that’s the nature of change. Despite the pressures on the oil price, the industry has an assured of a future as decommissioning, new fields and our global role as a skills and expertise hub play their part.  That is very much the forward looking theme of Offshore Europe the industry’s bi annual convention in the granite city.

On September the 9th CIPD Scotland and our North of Scotland and Islands group ran a great Offshore Europe event on board the Shetland Ferry MV Hjaadtland. This is the second time we have held a major CIPD Scotland event on big  boat. Last year it was on HMS Duncan in Glasgow at the end of the best commonwealth games ever!  On board the Hjaadtland members were treated to a  provocative and thoughtful presentation on Trust and Resilience delivered brilliantly by Professor Ros Searle, Amongst a large cross section of the North East’s HR leaders, there was a recognition that a different mind-set is required for different times.

CIPD Scotland is proud to be at the forefront of helping to harness thinking and tap into the undervalued voice of the HR professional in oil and gas. For too long the industry ran on short term expedients, now it  has to adjust to a new future of lower costs, higher productivity and more sustainable skills development.  People and Development professionals will be pivotal to this future. It’s important that we are also involved in developing SME’s.
At lunchtime on the 16th with JP Morgan and Glasgow City Council, we will be welcoming Minister Roseanna Cunningham to the  Glasgow launch of CIPD’s UK wide People Skills research Programme. The evidence shows that SME’s are a massive part of Scotland’s skilled future with about 98% of businesses in this category. Ideally we want them to grow so that they can like business with 250 plus employees achieve their full potential. That means they need to employ more skills and talent especially young people through well designed and productive apprenticeships. That way Scotland builds its prosperity and a viable future. People Skills will deliver the best up to the minute HR practice guidance, bespoke one to one advice and a network of events where SME’s can come together.

Scotland has come a long way over a year as has the UK. The challenges are many and varied but as long as we keep our eyes on the prize of Scotland’s Skilled Future we will be able to ride the rapids and make progress.

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