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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-04615: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 10 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that Skills Development Scotland has spent £64.5 million on staff costs since April 2016 compared with £116.7 million on national training programmes; what discussions it has had with the agency regarding this, and what its position is on whether this constitutes the best balance of its expenditure.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 23 November 2016

The staffing budget for 2016-17 is based on a budgeted FTE of 1480 staff, with over 1,110 staff delivering a customer facing service such as careers advice or direct employer services.

The role of the Skills Development Scotland Board is to promote the efficient, economic and effective use of staff and other resources by SDS consistent with the principles of Best Value, including, where appropriate, participation in shared services arrangements and ensuring that effective arrangements are in place so that SDS acts corporately in accordance with the priorities set out in the SG’s statement of corporate expectations.

The Scottish Government approves the SDS pay remit, ensuring it is in line with Public Sector Pay Policy.

Skills Development Scotland 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.