Boost Scottish productivity

Boost Scottish productivity

Building environments that foster productivity


Scottish productivity performance has fallen short of its international competitors for decades. Despite the Scottish government’s long-held ambitions to see Scotland among the top 25% most productive countries in the EU, it remains 20% off the target.


The change we're calling for


Successfully addressing productivity goes hand in hand with higher wages and better living standards across Scotland. Businesses have a crucial role to play in finding solutions, but government must help create the right environment to drive change. We're calling for policy support across the areas that most impact productivity.

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    Deliver greater support for businesses to upskill and retrain staff in face of changing world of work.

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    Incentivise private sector investment in digital infrastructure to ensure businesses can maximise opportunities from technology.

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    Simplify the available exporting support and deliver the promised trade mentoring programme.


Why it's needed


CBI analysis found that the most productive local authority area in Scotland is 50% more productive than the least. The CBI has also identified the four main drivers for such differences: educational attainment, transport links, management practices, and the proportion of firms who export.  

By unlocking growth across Scotland and closing our productivity gaps, we could add £25bn to our economy over the next decade. So CBI Scotland is running a long-term campaign to do just that.

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"Productivity is often presented as a national problem. A problem that can only be solved by government. I just don’t buy it. I believe increased productivity is possible for Scotland but there is no magic solution. Instead it is focusing on the detail, fine tuning, reinventing and taking risks through the adoption of new technologies and entering into new markets."

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director

Industry impact

The business role

Firms have a big role to play in strengthening Scottish productivity. By playing their part, and closing the productivity gap across key areas, they could also see real return on their investment. There is much more that could be done...

  • The proportion of firms that say they are keen to do more to support schools and colleges to deliver better careers advice.

  • The proportion of firms that rank digital networks as a key factor in investment decisions.

  • The proportion of Scottish firms that have the characteristics of competitors that are exporting but are not currently exporting themselves.

Measuring Scotland's productivity

Boosting Scotland's productivity is the key route to achieving more sustainable growth. The Scottish Productivity Index determines the impact and effectiveness of productivity enhancing measures.
Find out what the index is showing.


Our progress and impact


The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all.  Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?


    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to boost Scottish productivity.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?


    Have your say

    Businesses have a crucial role to play in finding solutions, but government must help create the right environment to drive change in Scotland. Share your views on what has to be done.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?


    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Regional Growth team.

    Contact Jim Hubbard, Head of Regional Policy, to find out what business urgently needs to boost productivity in Scotland and how you can support it.

    Contact us