by Grant Campbell, SCDI’s regional manager for the Highlands and Islands
As we take time to reflect on 2021, there is no doubt that it has been a challenging year for businesses and organisations in the region.
Brexit and Covid continue to put additional burdens on employers and their staff but this is where I see the resilience and spirit of the Highlands and Islands people shines through.
We all understand the importance of the hospitality and tourism businesses in our communities and what they mean for employment and supporting the local supply chain. Continuing to support them while Covid restrictions and low season revenues put severe pressure on them will be critical to ensuring their survival for the future.
Throughout the year in my meetings and discussions with our members, I am continually inspired by the optimism they all show for the future and the genuine desire to be part of making the Highlands and Islands a great place to live and work.
The annual SCDI Forum was held in November and discussions around changing ways of measuring business success was particularly insightful. People, planet and prosperity were referred to as the three Ps and the prioritisation of these was seen as a key to creating the economy of the future.
It has been great to see the significant investment commitments within the region by many of our members throughout 2021, including aquaculture, food and drink, space technology, health and life sciences and of course the renewable energy sector.
All of these industries are committed to delivering prosperity to the local communities in which they operate by the creation of skilled jobs with support for lifelong learning and development of their people and innovation of new technologies towards achieving net zero, therefore minimising the impact on the planet.
Each month, productivity clubs have continued to develop peer-to-peer learning among SMEs from all sectors and industries. Showcasing best practice and offering signposting to funding and support for businesses, the clubs play an important role in helping organisations become more productive.
Join us at www.productivity.scot