UK: SDI Creates Over 7,000 Jobs

UK: SDI Creates Over 7,000 Jobs

Scottish Development International’s (SDI) international trade and investment activity created or safeguarded more than 7,000 Scottish jobs and helped more than 1,000 high potential Scottish companies target new global markets last year.

In 2011/2012, SDI also worked with 190 companies on significant new international projects with a projected growth of £733million in sales over the next three years – almost double the £405million that was achieved through the same activity last year.

A joint venture between Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government, SDI works closely with Scottish companies to help them grow their operations in the global market place and to bring inward investment to Scotland.

Other key results include:

  • More than 1,800 of the 7,000 planned jobs created or safeguarded in 2011/12 were high value jobs
  • Almost £22million of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) support for projects with a planned expenditure of almost £163million was offered to more than 30 inward investors to locate or grow their operations in Scotland
  • More than 1,380 companies were supported through a range of trade and investment activities, such as workshops, trade missions and in-market support. This included support to 1,055 Scottish high potential companies
  • More than 2,200 Scottish company delegates benefited from Smart Exporter events, products and services since its launch in 2010.

These results complemented Scottish Enterprise and Highland and Island Enterprise’s wider efforts to boost Scotland’s international trade and investment activity, which also included:

  • More than 17,800 new registrations for TalentScotland in the past year, following the launch of the website which aims to attract new highly skilled people to work in Scotland
  • GlobalScot had its most successful year-to-date generating over 450 requests for assistance from Scottish companies to members of the GlobalScot network
  • Fifty GlobalScot events were held in Scotland and overseas, with 430 attendees and 140 one-on-one meetings between companies and GlobalScots. There were 65 new members to the GlobalScot network, bringing the total number of members to 778.

Commenting on the results, Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: “We know that a strong international strategy can completely transform a business by helping it to increase productivity, improve innovation performance and diversify its customer base.

“Equally important, is building on Scotland’s success as a global location. Scotland has an outstanding international reputation and investments last year alone from global companies such Avaloq, Samsung Heavy Industries and Gamesa are testament to this.”

The publication of SDI’s results coincide with the launch of a new campaign by Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise and other partners, that calls on Scottish companies to say “Yes to Growth” and aims to stimulate greater investment by businesses.

Anne MacColl continued: “Economic conditions for companies are still challenging but it’s in these tough times that we need businesses to dig deep and set themselves apart from the competition.

“We need more businesses to consider the significant benefits of investing in global markets and help those already operating internationally to adapt to the changing patterns of trade and explore new opportunities that offer significant long-term gains to help really get Scotland’s economy moving again.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “These results demonstrate that SDI is achieving substantial economic benefits to Scotland – attracting major inward investment, creating thousands of jobs, and helping Scottish businesses realise their international ambitions.

“We are working tirelessly to strengthen Scotland’s economic links in overseas markets and our record of attracting inward investment reflects this. The 2011 Ernst and Young UK Attractiveness Survey reported that, in terms of employment generated by foreign direct investment (FDI), Scotland was the leading location within the UK in 2010.

“Only last week Aker Solutions announced plans to add another 500 jobs to its North East operation – this is on top of recent SDI successes including Gamesa’s decision to bring their wind power manufacturing facility and 800 jobs to Leith, and GlaxoSmithKline’s £100 million expansion plans for sites in Montrose and Irvine. This record of success is testament to the skills of our workforce and Scotland’s attractiveness to inward investors.”

Inward investment was one of Scotland’s biggest successes last year with SDI helping to attract big names such as Gamesa, Avaloq, State Street and BNY Mellon.

Similarly, Scottish companies like Cocoa Black, Brewdog, Solid Form Solutions, Mackies and Gemini Corrosion Services continue to break into new overseas territories and diversify into expanding markets to help realise their ambitious growth plans.


Offshore WIND staff, May 21, 2012; Image: Scottish Enterprise