Social Dialogue in Scotland: Experiences of Employers and their Representative Organisations in Policy Making around Skills and Training

Simms, M. (2021) Social Dialogue in Scotland: Experiences of Employers and their Representative Organisations in Policy Making around Skills and Training. Project Report. Scottish Parliament Information Centre.

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This research was conducted by Melanie Simms, Professor of Work and Employment at the University of Glasgow's Adam Smith Business School. Professor Simms was assisted in the writing of this briefing by research student, Klaudia Szabelka. The project is part of SPICe's academic engagement programme. This aims to utilise Scotland's world-famous universities and academic capabilities in order to support the Parliament in its scrutiny and legislative roles. The opinions, conclusions and recommendations are those of Professor Simms and are based on interviews with employers and employers organisations conducted during 2019 and 2020. The report explores the views of employers’ representative organisations (EROs) to current structures of social dialogue in Scotland with a focus on skills and training. Social dialogue refers to the structures and systems put in place to support workers’ and employers’ representative organisations discussing, and sometimes negotiating, issues around work, employment and the economy – sometimes involving the state as well. The focus on skills and training is because this is an area where there is often the greatest scope for agreement on broad objectives between the parties. Recent developments in the area of skills and training, as well as labour market and economic issues more generally, mean that the engagement of employers is crucial to effective delivery of key areas of policy such as Developing the Young Workforce, Economic Action Plans, Future Skills Action Plan, apprenticeships, etc. But, in common with the wider UK, structures to ensure employers are engaged in the design and delivery of these initiatives are patchy and inconsistent. This raises questions about the representational legitimacy and effectiveness of those structures. The report concludes with some key recommendations and three case studies from around the world.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Project Report)
Additional Information:Report number SB 21-78.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simms, Professor Melanie
Authors: Simms, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Publisher:Scottish Parliament Information Centre

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
309399SPICe FellowshipMelanie SimmsThe Scottish Parliament (SCOTPARL)N/ABS - Management