Business in the Community Scotland
Inspiring and engaging businesses to become more responsible and tackle some of society’s biggest issues
TOGETHER WE CAN BECOME PARTNERS IN CHANGE
The workforce in the UK is changing fast and you need to act now to unlock the opportunities of multigeneration teams. By 2020 1 in 3 workers will be over 501, and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 502. Understanding the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population is vital if we all want to create productive, innovative and inclusive multi-generational teams as we all lead longer working lives.
Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of Scottish businesses reported difficulties recruiting due to candidates lacking required skills, while spending on recruiters has risen by 85 per cent to £129.1 million3. Sixty-four per cent of employers expect Brexit to make the skills shortage even worse4. At the same time, Scotland’s birth rate fell last year to the second lowest figure since records began, with the number of people of working age going into a decline5.
Business in the Community Scotland is part of the Age at Work project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. The five-year project will work across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to raise awareness of an ageing workforce and support businesses to be more age inclusive. By supporting older people to remain in or return to work, the project will help older workers to have enough income, develop new skills and have a fuller working life. Being part of the workforce will also help older people to stay connected to their community and reduce loneliness and isolation. The Age At Work project will be jointly led by Age NI and Business in the Community (BITC) NI in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru, BITC Scotland and BITC Cymru.
We have just 11 years to prevent catastrophic climate change. We must make the most out of precious resources, waste as little as possible and find ways of turning the waste we do create into new wealth. Business in the Community’s (BITC) Waste to Wealth campaign brings together business, government, academia and civil society to unlock opportunities to double the nation’s resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste by 2030.
Unemployment levels are at an all-time low across Scotland, yet many people are struggling to find good quality work; a job that offers security, opportunity, effective voice, respect and fulfilment. At the same time employers are struggling to find and retain talent, to increase productivity and to adapt to a rapidly changing economic landscape. Research shows that job quality, employee health and wellbeing, engagement and productivity are closely linked. Businesses that offer good quality work are more diverse, productive, engaged and innovative than those which do not.
During the autumn of 2018 Business in the Community Scotland organised consultations across Scotland to gather input from employers on what makes a convincing business case for fair work, what are the challenges to fair work and what actions businesses, government and civil society, individually and in collaboration, can take to achieve the vision of being a world leader in fair work by 2025. The results of these consultations were compiled into a BITC Scotland report submitted to the Scottish Government, which informed the subsequently published Fair Work Action Plan.
Achieving a truly gender-balanced workforce means employers must recruit and progress the best talent – irrespective of gender. The commercial imperative for realising women’s potential in the workplace is clear: gender equality enhances employee engagement, boosts productivity, meets the diverse needs of customers and suppliers, and improves brand reputation.
Business in the Community Scotland is a member of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) circle of support and a strategic ally in promoting gender equality. Business in the Community support the NACWG’s strategy and will take ownership of our place in this movement, by helping to raise awareness on this vital issue as well as hosting ‘Spotlight Wee Circles’ to discuss the importance of tackling gender inequality.
Business in the Community defines “wellbeing” as the mutually supportive relationship between an individual’s mental, physical, social and financial health and their personal wellbeing. Taking a whole organisation approach to embedding wellbeing into an organisational culture is key to achieving maximum impact. Wellbeing should be positioned as a strategic boardroom issue supporting thriving people, thriving business and thriving communities.
The Scottish companion to Mental Health at Work Report: 2019: Time to Take Ownership, in partnership with Mercer Marsh Benefits and BITC’s Wellbeing Team, shows that 24% of employees in Scotland have experienced poor mental health due to work, or where work was a contributing factor, in the past month. The three main causes of work-related poor mental health in Scotland are too much pressure, workload impacting on ability to take leave and a lack of support. More can, and should, be done by employers to relieve pressure.
How we work
Business in the Community Scotland works with members, partners and stakeholders across a diverse range of sectors
- We engage with colleagues across the UK-wide BITC network to deliver the expertise of the whole organisation to Scotland
- Our Leadership Board is made up of influential leaders who possess unique knowledge, skills and connections
- Our current key partnerships are:
- LifeSkills with Barclays
- Age at Work
- The Scottish Government
WE ARE STRONGER IN NUMBERS
1. ONS, Labour market projections 2006-2020
2. Department for Work and Pensions, Fuller Working Lives: evidence base 2017, at page 13, accessed 26 June 2018
3. Age Scotland; (2019) Age Scotland calls for more investment in older workers to plug £360 million skills gap https://www.ageuk.org.uk