Scottish Parliament building with Arthurs Seat in the background

WHO WE ARE

The BSA Scotland Group brings together large and small businesses and VCSE organisations delivering service and infrastructure projects across the private and public sectors in Scotland.

These organisations deliver ICT, business process outsourcing, facilities management, construction and infrastructure, and other project delivery. 

275,000 people in Scotland are employed in these areas – more than one in ten employees.

So the industry has a crucial role to play as an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as supporting value and social benefits in the provision of services and infrastructure projects.

The BSA Scotland Group is chaired by Ian Gibson, a freelance management adviser and non-executive director based in Strathaven.  We welcome new members – large or small, private sector or VCSE – operating in Scotland with an interest in our work.

WHAT WE DO

Our work includes:

–  roundtables with local government and Scottish Government ministers and officials, covering areas like construction and infrastructure, digital, public procurement, and skills and apprenticeships provision

–  case studies of the work of BSA members, and papers sharing best practice and ideas for taking forward equitable partnership working in the future

–  updates on issues of interest to businesses and VCSE organisations in Scotland

Logo for BSA Scotland small

ISSUES WE CAMPAIGN ON

Partnership Working

Key to much of the work of the BSA Scotland Group is a focus on partnership working to help achieve the outcomes set out in the National Performance Framework and elsewhere.

Working towards the Framework’s aims – of a more successful country, opportunities for all people living in Scotland, increasing the wellbeing of people living in Scotland, creating sustainable and inclusive growth, and reducing inequalities and giving equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress – requires everyone pulling together. There needs to be equitable partnership working between the public, private and VCSE sectors.  That’s more important than ever as we look to rebuild from COVID-19.

Inclusive Growth

How to promote jobs and prosperity that benefits everyone is a vital subject – in Scotland as elsewhere. It’s one the Scottish Government has made a priority.

An important part of this is public procurement. Reforms have been introduced across the public sector in Scotland to strengthen the role of community benefits and the importance of sustainable procurement when goods and services are commissioned from the private or VCSE sectors.

BSA Scotland members are keen to work with the public sector to use procurement to make sure local businesses are built up, the community is strengthened, local workers are helped with training and career progression, and they have fair pay and conditions.

Sustainable Growth

COP26 highlighted the importance of achieving a Just Transition to Net Zero, making sure future growth is sustainable as well as inclusive.

The BSA has published case studies of members operating in Scotland and the rest of the UK who are working in partnership to put these principles into practice.

As well as reducing the environmental impact of their own organisations, many members deliver services to private and public sector organisations to help them become more energy efficient and act more sustainably.  Larger organisations also have an important role in supporting their SME supply chains to do the same.

The Importance of Place

A focus on Place, and the needs and wishes of local communities, is key to the equitable provision of service and infrastructure projects in the future.

For example, BSA members are working with Scotland’s City Region Deals and Growth Deals. The BSA Scotland Group has been privileged to visit all of the City Region Deals to understand the progress being made – especially on infrastructure and skills.

Place leadership is vital, and BSA members have discussed how private and VCSE organisations can fit in with the priorities of Scotland’s local authorities.

One important way in which SMEs and the communities they represent can be supported and built up is through equitable partnership working between larger businesses / VCSE organisations and their supply chains. The BSA Scotland Group is keen to engage in the Community Wealth Building agenda as this work is taken forward.

The Importance of Infrastructure

BSA Scotland members are integral to the development of Scotland’s transport network and of wider social and economic infrastructure.  Reforms introduced by the Scottish Futures Trust and by Transport Scotland aim to deliver greater benefits to Scotland’s communities.

BSA Scotland Group members look forward to working on the priorities identified in the Infrastructure Investment Plan going forwards.

Public Procurement Reform

Making sure public procurement operates efficiently across the whole of the public sector in Scotland, in support of the objectives in the National Performance Framework, is a central objective.

BSA Scotland members have therefore welcomed the publication of clear pipelines of work, so businesses and the voluntary sector can plan ahead on training and investment.  They welcome genuine collaboration and early engagement so ideas on innovation or social benefits can be shared.  And they welcome an unrelenting focus on shared outcomes, rather than simply lowest cost, when procurement decisions are made.

 

 

 

 

 

Key to much of the work of the BSA Scotland Group is a focus on partnership working to help achieve the outcomes set out in the National Performance Framework and elsewhere.

LINKS

Blog by Ian Gibson, BSA Scotland Chair – Public Procurement and Property: ‘Collaboration is key’ to delivering shared outcomes. Click here.

Examples of work being carried out Net Zero by BSA members working in Scotland and in the rest of the UK is here.

Statement of Best Practice on Partnership Working between large businesses / VCSE organisations and SMEs across the UK is here.

A BSA paper on ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: 10 Lessons from lockdown’ is available here.

A BSA note on the contribution business services can make to inclusive growth across Scotland is here.

A summary of a seminar on Inclusive Growth event organised in Edinburgh by the BSA Scotland Group  is here.

Keith Brown, MSP, who was then the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, delivered the keynote speech at this event. The transcript can be read here.