Date lodged: 10 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that Skills Development Scotland has spent £7.6 million on its offices since April 2016; what discussions it has had with the agency regarding this, and what its position is on whether this expenditure constitutes value-for-money.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 23 November 2016
The figure quoted is for spend for 2016-17, and this related to a spend on a mix of customer facing centres and back office facilities.
To perform their functions Skills Development Scotland require a regional network of offices to deliver all-age career and employability services direct to the public, careers support for those unemployed, employability and PACE workshops, access to their online careers web service (My World of Work) and drop in advice.
SDS receive Guidance each year from Scottish Ministers which details ministerial priorities and associated budget. SDS budgets are monitored as set out in the Framework Document between Scottish Government and SDS, and this is also in line with Scottish Ministers guidance that is provided in the Scottish Public Finance Manual. Since their formation in 2008, SDS have show their commitment to delivering value for money by reducing their estates costs by a third.