Commission for the Land-based Learning Review minutes: September 2022

Minutes of the meeting of the group held on 27 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies

Commission members

  • Liz Barron-Majerik
  • Ishabel Bremner
  • Chris Brodie
  • Steven Grier
  • George Jamieson
  • Jamie Newbold
  • Amy Jo Reid
  • Gail Robertson
  • David Thomson

Scottish Government officials 

  • Amanda Fox
  • Muriel Mackenzie
  • Amanda Millar
  • Connie Smith
  • Heather Wilson

Report Writer

  • Ian Pearce


Commission members

  • Rachel Cowper
  • Heather Jones
  • Andy Leitch
  • Claudia Rowse
  • James Wylie

Items and actions

Items and actions

The Chair welcomed members to the meeting and reminded members that Lesley Laird has now resigned from the commission.

The note of the previous meeting was agreed.

Outstanding actions from the action log:

  • Secretariat will develop schematics of learning systems and pathways and share with the commission
  • Jamie Newbold to share details on the DEFRA Green Loans Scheme which is due to be launched

Presentation from the commission’s report writer

Ian Pearce has been appointed as the commission’s report writer following a tender process. 

He gave a presentation on the emerging themes he has identified from the outputs of three stakeholder engagements events held in September 2022 on: ‘Education and Training’, ‘Employers, Skills and Skills Gaps’ and ‘Awareness and Perception’.

Outputs from stakeholder events (paper one)   

There was discussion following the report writer’s presentation on the outputs from the stakeholder engagement events. Highlights include:

  • a wealth of information was gathered at the events 
  • discussion around opportunities for and limitations to the impact of the Review and where are traction points/levers
  • collaboration and effective ownership to drive change
  • both skills and knowledge are important. May be valuable to focus on sector more than subject. There are various methods used to define ‘rural’. Discussion around the best way to do this. The Secretariat shared the Scottish Government research paper: ‘Understanding the Scottish Rural Economy’
  • ensuring the data gathered has enough granularity to provide the necessary detail for the report and recommendations
  • discussion around what sectors may look like in the future: some areas of the land-based sector change very quickly due to advancing technology whilst others change in different ways and move at a different pace

Statistical data gathering

The Secretariat provided an update on the statistics and data that has been requested from various sources to inform its review, including from SG analysts, SFC and SDS. This included data on:

  • subjects studied at school, college and university
  • destination information
  • apprenticeships
  • recruitment, labour market trends and forecasts

Discussion focused on what data is available on upskilling courses as this is largely done by private providers and would not be captured by data on publicly funded education and training.  

Knowledge circle

The Secretariat provided an update on the practical arrangements for the Knowledge Circle engagement meeting to take place on 7 October 2022. This is an opportunity for the Knowledge Circle to examine the data and comment on any evidence submitted. 

The Knowledge Circle will also be asked to share any case studies/good practice examples that may be relevant. Commission members will also be invited to attend this meeting.

An online space will be set up to enable the sharing of documents/data amongst members. 

Learning for Sustainability Scotland

The Secretariat updated on the stakeholder engagement event that has been arranged for the commission by Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfSS) for their network members. LfSS is actively involved in mainstreaming learning for sustainability across education.

The Secretariat provided the event registration link to members should they wish to attend.

Delivery timeline and key milestones (paper two)

The Secretariat updated the commission on the delivery timeline. The key milestones being around the drafts of the report.

The commission agreed to move the date for sixth meeting from 9 November 2022 to 21 November 2022 so it is after the first draft of the report due to be sent to commission members on 14 November. Commission members should submit written comments on the draft report by 17 November and it can be discussed at the meeting.

The report writer wishes to speak to all commission members individually. The Secretariat will arrange these .

Members did raise that the timeline for delivery is tight. The Co-chair was confident that meeting the milestones and deadline were achievable. The dates and milestones were therefore agreed by the commission.


  • further discussion to be arranged around the jobs that may exist in the future
  • Secretariat to share report writer’s presentation
  • commission members to consider the stakeholder outputs and focus on looking at the potential solutions provided and feedback comments to the Secretariat and Report Writer
  • Secretariat will share data from previous commission meetings with report writer, including the 16+ data hub information
  • Jamie Newbold to provide report on student demand
  • Secretariat to investigate whether valuable data on private provision of upskilling can be obtained
  • Secretariat to issue invitations to Knowledge Circle meeting
  • Secretariat to issue link to shared space to commission members
  • commission members to advise Secretariat of any times they are not available due to October holidays
  • Secretariat will contact members with regards to setting up 1:1 meetings with report writer
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