Theme 4 - Opportunities
- Some ILGs did not have strategic plans nor the industry-wide high-level membership/leadership necessary to envision strategic opportunities for the sector or Scotland.
- Given the Strategic Board's aims to deliver improved system-wide effectiveness and impact and drive greater inclusive economic growth, the status quo is not an option.
- ILGs were set up with a primary purpose of delivering a sectoral strategy - the context has now changed.
- Sector understanding and knowledge at Government (UK and Scottish) and agency level is key in co-development of plans and implementation. It is incumbent on government bodies to work together to find representatives with the right skills and experience, who can cover the brief.
- An ILG's top level, core objectives are to achieve faster growth for the sector by propelling opportunities faster than the sector itself could do without this link into Government and agencies, as well as facilitating sector wide responses to national challenges.
- The opportunities for ILGs are underpinned by the proposed change of emphasis across themes 1 - 3. ILGs must: have the right people; deliver on sector and Government priorities; and bring the sector with them.
- ILGs have an opportunity to act to coordinate and stimulate individual sectors, particularly around leveraging funding from the UK Industrial Strategy.
- ILGs should act as a conduit for Scottish Government priorities, particularly in communicating with the sector and businesses that are not currently captured by existing Government and agency routes.
- ILGs should be focussed on the sector's role in economic impact and opportunities, co-production and cross cutting issues - with a stronger and sustained focus on planning, protocols and procedures which ensure delivery and impact, including.
- Becoming an 'innovation gateway', signposting companies to innovation and R & D resources, creating stronger ties to colleges and universities and various funding support opportunities;
- Liaising with Enterprise agencies to co-ordinate national and international funding bids and procurement tenders;
- Encouraging businesses to buy locally by deploying their enhanced knowledge about who could provide what, thus playing an important role in stimulating local procurement. This would play into procurement policy nationally.
- Promoting training opportunities for upskilling and reskilling, particularly Business Models and Workplace Innovation;
- Communicating and promoting understanding of Fair Work practices
- Developing a database of cross-sector mentoring and partnership opportunities and facilitate introductions;
- Supporting Business Creation and Growth through referral at the right time, to appropriate parts of the system, e.g. Scottish National Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise , Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, private sector funders, to ensure key opportunities are not lost;
- Work with sectors to develop collaborative routes to exporting: facilitating distribution partnerships, mentors, overseas contacts (particularly Global Scots);
- Inputting to policy decisions affecting the sector in the particular context of the COVID-19 recession.
- There is scope for the companies involved in ILGs to act as role models in order to demonstrate best practice in core government priorities such as Fair Work
- ILGs can work to signpost and develop training for the sector, particularly around leadership and management and sector specific digital skills, and in particular as set out above:
- the potential for ILGs to be central to the development and promotion of shared apprenticeship contract and programme opportunities particularly among SMEs.
- the provision of sector specific careers advice to inspire and attract young people including the design of worthwhile work placements and shared trainee placements.
Earlier references to national challenges have focused on climate change and low carbon. Another key example is around sectoral big data. ILGs could set out to create a national map of resources for their sector so that by making connections, big challenges can be addressed more dynamically by sectors, and across sectors.
That would then inform skills plans, and industry evidence of demand for upskilling and reskilling. This information should also be able to be analysed through data analytics and fed back into the system This resonates with the Strategic Board's drive for inclusive economic growth by maximising the benefits of the collective investment that Scotland makes in enterprise and skills development.
Given the expected levels of unemployment effected by the COVID-19 pandemic, by boosting the repository of real-time labour market demand information for the sector., this information and data will be critical in identifying current employment vacancies