Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board


This group is no longer active.

The Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board was created in November 2017 in response to the Enterprise and Skills Review, to align and co-ordinate the activities of Scotland's enterprise and skills agencies: Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and in 2020, the South of Scotland Enterprise.

The Strategic Board sought to maximise the impact of the collective investment that Scotland makes in enterprise and skills development, and to create the conditions that are conducive to delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.

The aims of the strategic board:

  • improve the overall performance of the economy by ensuring that the whole Enterprise and Skills System delivers Scotland's Economic Strategy and supporting strategies, in all parts of Scotland
  • through collective responsibility ensure hard alignment between agencies to drive improvement in Scottish productivity and better support business and users of the skills system
  • hold agencies to account for performance against agreed measures
  • actively engage with other agencies and bodies who support the economy with a view to increasing alignment and challenging others where collaboration is not happening
  • deliver wider collective leadership, based on common culture and values, and which inspires and empowers delivery

Working collaboratively for a better Scotland - the board's strategic plan

In October 2018 the Board set out its Strategic Plan a blueprint to government with a series of actions for Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies to take forward aimed at driving productivity and inclusive growth. 14 agency actions and 18 recommendations  were outlined around four interconnected missions: Skills for the Future; Business Models and Workplace Innovation; Business Creation and Growth and Exports. 

Sub-group on Measures to Mitigate the Labour Market Impacts from Covid-19

The board provided strategic insight in a number of important areas, including, pivoting its focus to support the immediate challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Working closely with the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, a sub group of the board was formed in 2020 to put forward a range of practical actions where the enterprise and skills agencies could best support and accelerate Scotland’s economic recovery. In June 2020 a report was submitted to Ministers setting out a series of recommendations for action by Government, its agencies and delivery partners. The Scottish Government published its response to the report on 5 August, endorsing the recommendations. 

Industry Leadership Groups Review

In July 2020 the board completed a review of the Industry Leadership Groups (ILGs).  The review undertaken by the Strategic Board was initiated to understand the activities of each ILG, their key outputs and how they can increase their impact.  The board recognised that ILGs are a long-established route to engaging industry sectors in Scotland and align this with Scotland’s Economic Strategy.

Review of Innovation Support in Scotland

In July 2021 the board completed a review of the Innovation landscape in Scotland.  The review looked to develop and implement an approach to evaluating innovation activity including those led by the enterprise and skills agencies.

Transition to the National Strategy for Transformation Delivery Board

The National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), published on 1 March 2022, set out the actions to transform the Scottish economy over the next 10 years. To ensure the successful implementation of the strategy, the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board (ESSB) will transition into the NSET Delivery Board. It builds on the extensive work undertaken to date by the ESSB which has been the catalyst for driving a step-change in the way enterprise and skills agencies collaborate and align their products and services to enhance, and make it easier, for users to access support.  

In preparation for the NSET Delivery Board the ESSB published a report on its key achievements and lessons for enhancing delivery. The publication was discussed at the first meeting of the Delivery Board.


  • Nora Senior, former Chair, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and former President, UK Chambers of Commerce (Chair)
  • Scott McLarty, Spirit AeroSystems (Vice Chair)
  • Liz Cameron, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Mike Cantlay, Scottish Funding Council
  • Sara Carter, University of Glasgow
  • Alistair Dodds, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Audrey Cumberford, Edinburgh College
  • Russel Griggs, South of Scotland Economic Partnership
  • Steven Heddle, COSLA
  • Frank Mitchell, Skills Development Scotland
  • Grahame Smith, STUC
  • Lord Smith of Kelvin, Scottish Enterprise
  • Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, CodeClan
  • Gillian Murray, Heriot-Watt University
  • Simon Cotton, Johnstons of Elgin 
  • Alison Milne, Crafty Maltsters Ltd
  • Caroline Barelle, Elasmogen 




Email: EnterpriseandSkillsPMO@gov.scot

Enterprise and Skills Programme Office
Scottish Government
Third Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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