RPF insights Scotland: focus on digital to boost productivity

Our Regional Productivity Forum Chairs took part in panel discussions at our online business conference held in June 2021.

Carolyn Currie is Chief Executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland and chair of  the Scotland Productivity Forum. She took part in the panel debate: What can UK companies do to thrive in the post-pandemic, post-Brexit era?

She believed digital was the best way to thrive in the post-pandemic, post-Brexit era.

Scottish businesses had opportunities to access grant funding which has been a key driver in providing an incentive to take the time to look at opportunities for individual businesses.

UK investment in machinery and in information and communication technology rose 3.2 per cent compared with the last quarter of 2019 — the last three-month period before the pandemic hit Britain.

“A lot of businesses have invested in digital and technology in order to take that step,” she said. “In many cases, you know, necessity is the mother of invention and the move of many markets online has created a much greater need to engage with these types of technology.”

We then asked our audience in a poll what the top priority was for businesses to thrive in a post pandemic UK. Drive innovation was the top answer followed closely by improving the skills of the workforce.

Conference poll: business priority

Carolyn believed that innovation was “absolutely critical” and that many of the businesses her firm had spoken to had innovation at the front of their minds

“For a small business, taking on staff is a big step and it’s a critical step. It’s a real milestone. And you are looking often for staff that have very particular skills or have the capability to gain those very particular skills pretty quickly to make a real innovative contribution.”

You can watch the full panel discussion here: