Publication - Strategy/plan

Economic Recovery Implementation Plan: Scottish Government response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery

The Scottish Government’s response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report “Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland: Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.”

Economic Recovery Implementation Plan: Scottish Government response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery
Annex: Detailed Response to Recommendations

Annex: Detailed Response to Recommendations

(1) The UK and Scottish Governments should accelerate the review of the Fiscal Framework. It is vital that the overall funding approach is robust to address economic recovery and is resilient to future economic shocks.

We agree that it is crucial that our overall funding approach is robust to address economic recovery and is resilient to future shocks.

We have:

  • Set out the need for the UK Government to immediately agree to temporary borrowing flexibilities to allow the Scottish Government to better manage the impact of COVID-19.

We will now:

  • Develop a programme of analysis and engagement to enhance the wider understanding of the Fiscal Framework and identify further options for reform.

We plan to:

  • In collaboration with the UK Government, undertake a full review of the Fiscal Framework Review, as quickly as possible. It will be comprehensive, taking into account the views of the Scottish Parliament and other stakeholders.

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Natural
  • Social
  • Economic

(2) The UK and Scottish Governments should commit to securing significant increase in access to capital investment to support the recovery. This should maintain the Scottish Government’s commitment to a Mission to raise infrastructure investment and it is imperative that the Scottish National Investment Bank opens this year.

We fully accept this recommendation, recognising that investment in infrastructure across Scotland will be key to our recovery.

We have:

  • Ensured that Mission Clyde will use £10 million capital funding during 2020/21.
  • Established the National Infrastructure Mission, committing to a sustained boost in Capital Investment over the next 5 years.
  • Announced a £230 million Economic Stimulus Package of capital funding to help stimulate the economy.

We will now:

  • Publish our Infrastructure Investment Plan in September, setting out our strategic plans for investing in infrastructure which will be key to our green wellbeing recovery. This Plan will be dedicated to boosting inclusive growth, building sustainable places and tackling the climate and nature crises.
  • Allocate £2 billion of new capital funding over the next Parliament to deliver low carbon and natural infrastructure.

We plan to:

  • Ensure that the Scottish National Investment Bank is key to our ambitions for investment in Scotland. We are continuing to make rapid progress ahead of the Bank’s opening later this year. Legislation to underpin the establishment of the Bank was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament in January, the Chair-designate and Chief Executive are now in place, and further recruitment is underway.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Communities

4 Capitals:

  • Economic

(3) The economic development landscape in Scotland should pivot to a more distributed regional model in order to address the specific new challenges of economic recovery. This model should be tasked to drive delivery of, especially the City-Region Growth Deals.

We agree that it is necessary to ensure economic development has a place-based regional focus at its heart.

We have

  • Undertaken joint development work across the Enterprise and Skills system, Local Government and Business Gateway to create a single digital platform to provide business advice and support as required to different types and sizes of business right across Scotland. The beta version of the website launched in December 2019 and findbusinesssupport.gov.scot is now providing key information and advice to businesses to help them restart and recover from COVID-19.
  • Recently provided £2.1 million of funding through South of Scotland Economic Partnership to support economic development across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, part of the £20 million invested in the region over two years to establish the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency and support local projects.
  • Established the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency (SOSE), launched in April 2020, to work with the people and communities across the South of Scotland to establish the region as a centre of opportunity, innovation, and growth. SOSE has committed just over £2.7 million over five years to support a new tourism, marketing and destination development programme. This complements the ongoing specific regional role of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

We will now

  • Recognising that needs and opportunities are varied across Scotland, work with Scottish Enterprise (SE) to support their shift to a more bespoke, regionally-focussed approach across the SE area by the end of 2022, with SE continuing to provide business and economic development support across its own area as well as pan-Scotland services and international activities such as leading on trade and investment.
  • Flex our £1.9 billion investment to the City Region and Regional Growth Deal programme, in response to the pandemic. We have recently announced investment of £50 million each in the future Falkirk Growth and Islands Growth Deals to support the priorities of regional partners

We plan to:

  • Through Regional Economic Partnerships, work closely with local government, our Enterprise Agencies and other key economic actors, including the private sector, to take a focussed, ‘taskforce’ approach to driving place based recovery and renewal. We will look to private sector players to play a strong leadership role in this approach.
  • Through the Business Support Partnerships Programme, continue work to add content to and enhance the digital platform, growing the numbers of partners who are providing help and advice to Scotland’s businesses and simplifying the customer journey
  • Build on our collaborative working with local government on the economic response to COVID-19 and work with CoSLA to co-produce a partnership approach across the business support and economic development landscape so that our collective knowledge, expertise and resources delivers maximum impact.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Communities
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(4) The Scottish Government should build its professional capability to manage ownership stakes in private businesses, which are likely to arise out of the crisis. This should not require new legislation, nor a new public sector organisation.

We agree that we need to build upon our experience through development of the Scottish National Investment Bank and our shareholder roles in respect of a number of businesses.

We have:

  • Refocused the Banking and Economy Forum and increased the regularity of meetings to ensure there is close collaboration between the Scottish Government and the financial services sector in addressing the economic challenges posed by COVID-19. We have discussed how businesses, impacted by the pandemic, can be recapitalised also continued to engage with the UK Government on this.

We will now:

  • Establish a short life working group to scope out the capability that may be required to manage these stakes in Scotland and consider the optimum delivery model. The working group will be led by the Scottish Government but will draw on independent expert advice.

We plan to:

  • Report findings and recommendations of the working group in autumn 2020.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • International

4 Capitals:

  • Economic

(5) Banks should develop new instruments to enable the strategic incubation of otherwise viable and strategically important companies to ensure they are protected during the recovery phase. The Scottish Government should use its convening power to co-ordinate approaches to different sectors of the economy, in close liaison with financial services institutions, sectoral organisations and the enterprise bodies.

The Scottish Government agrees that working with banks and the investment community to support strategically important companies across Scotland is vital in current circumstances.

We have

  • Recognised the challenges for individual businesses and their lenders and have called on the UK Government to agree a National Debt Plan to provide support to businesses, households and the banking system as the economy recovers by managing debt over a longer time period.
  • Used the strategic Banking and Economy Forum to engage with banks at the most senior levels. This enables us to work closely with the sector for the benefit of the Scottish economy.
  • Continually promoted and defended the interests of the Scottish economy in discussions with the UK Government. This includes ensuring that policy on the development of new financial instruments reflects the specific needs of Scottish economic sectors and businesses.

We will:

  • Continue to work with financial institutions and the investment community – through fora such as the Banking and Economy Forum – to co-ordinate the different approaches needed to support our economy as COVID-19 impacts arise.

We plan to:

  • Undertake work with the banks to ensure that we understand in detail the impacts of the pandemic on specific localities and sectors, and that we are able to tailor support to those needs.
  • Continue to influence the banks to take responsibility and play a key role in responding to economic pressures as they emerge.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Economic

(6) Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, with the support and active engagement of the Scottish Government, must develop a strong and bold prospectus for Scotland on available investment opportunities, recognising the substantial, twin shocks of the pandemic and leaving the European Union. This will require a focus on opportunity areas and deployment of its international presence to maximum effect.

The Scottish Government fully accepts these recommendations and will continue to engage with and support our agencies to do this.

We have:

  • Continued to work with our agencies to engage proactively with existing inward investors into Scotland throughout the crisis, supporting them as important employers in the Scottish economy and continuing discussions with potential investors to bring new jobs into the economy.
  • Revisited our analysis mapping Scotland’s strengths to current and projected global inward investment flows to identify future growth sectors in light of the twin challenges of COVID-19 and BREXIT. External analysis by global organisations such as UNCTAD, EY and Wavteq, support our analysis, identifying sectors such as energy, digital financial services and healthcare as more resilient to these challenges.
  • Set out Scotland’s Tourism Strategy: Scotland – Outlook 2030, launched in March this year which has now been reviewed with revised outcomes to reflect the significant impact that the pandemic has had on the sector in Scotland, especially in rural and island areas.
  • Established the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce, with investment being a key theme of its approach. It will report in September.

We will now:

  • Publish Re-shaping Scotland’s Economy – Inward Investment Agenda in September. The plan, co-produced with agency partners, is focused on Scotland’s key areas of opportunity to drive investment and deliver jobs in green, net zero, digital and high value manufacturing and will be underpinned by a national prospectus to showcase our capability to the rest of the world.
  • Work to position Scotland better internationally seeking additional support to Scotland is Now to strengthen Scotland’s brand value in international markets, thereby supporting both inward investment and exports.

We plan to:

  • Continue to develop our strategic approach to trade as a tool to support Scotland’s wellbeing economy and will refresh A Trading Nation to give focus and advice to exporters facing the concurrent challenges of COVID-19 and BREXIT.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • International
  • Culture

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(7) The Scottish Government and the business community should take urgent action to develop a new collaborative partnership on the strategy for Scotland’s economic recovery.

We agree that the economy will thrive best where there is effective and supportive action-orientated relationships between business, government and the wider public sector.

We have:

  • Through Scottish Government Ministers and officials and many business interests, already engage extensively through advisory groups, Industry Leadership Groups and the National Economic Forum.
  • Worked intensively in partnership with manufacturing supply chains to develop Scotland’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing capabilities, increasing self-sufficiency of these supply chains in Scotland.
  • Championed Scottish investment projects through our £3 billion Green Investment Prospectus.
  • Put in place an additional £38 million support package for early stage businesses, to be implemented by Scottish Enterprise in partnership with private investors and other partners.
  • Funded the Scottish EDGE competitive model of entrepreneurial development and support, working in partnership with the Hunter Foundation, Entrepreneurial Scotland and a range of private sector partners from the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland
  • Provided funding to help support the Scale Up Scotland programme, to boost the number of business of scale in Scotland. Led by the Hunter Foundation, the scheme provides practical and relevant learning for high growth potential entrepreneurs.
  • Funded the Unlocking Ambition programme to provide financial support and intensive training and mentoring to develop early stage businesses with the greatest growth potential.
  • Through a strategic partnership with Scotland’s energy network owners developed a clear, evidence-based set of regulatory requirements. This will play a vital part in helping ensure that our energy networks are able to anticipate and respond to the expected growth in demand for electric vehicles and heat pumps.

We will now:

  • Invite business and other leaders to provide constructive challenge and support across the Scottish Government to ensure the design and delivery of key policies takes account of the needs and priorities of businesses and opportunities for economic benefit. Each business leader will work with the most senior leaders in the Civil Service on a small number of specific policies to drive change.
  • Work with business bodies to agree a new compact with and for business. This will set out our shared values and aims, and provide clarity, commitment and accountability on mutual policy engagement and approach.
  • Take steps to change our culture through inward and outward secondments from business.
  • Develop and deliver sector recovery plans working collaboratively with ILGs, trades unions and other. Starting with the construction sector working group these plans will outline immediate, short, medium and long term priorities that will be focussed on delivering the wellbeing economy.
  • Develop a plan to champion and enhance the role of SMEs and their engagement with opportunities across the Energy and Oil and Gas sectors through the Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group, working alongside wider industry, public partners and the Trade Unions.

We plan to:

  • Co-produce and deliver a programme of collaborative and focused projects to be taken forward over the next 3 to 9 months – including joint work to mitigate the business impacts of any local lockdown measures and the risk of a second wave.
  • Issue guidance to all public bodies and agencies to encourage them to strengthen their relationship with business.
  • Increase private sector representation on public body and agency boards.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Economic

(8) The Scottish Government, regulatory bodies and local authorities should review their key policy, planning and consenting frameworks, especially for key infrastructure investments such as marine renewables, to accelerate projects.

We recognise that improvements can always be made to our policy, planning and consenting frameworks.

We have:

  • Continued to develop regulatory approaches across a range of sectors, for example in marine renewables and heat networks, where we recognise that achieving net zero emissions by 2045 will require a step change in the pace and scale of off shore developments.
  • In the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit, made a number of changes over the last 12 months to streamline processes.
  • For aquaculture, made consideration of, and changes to, the regulatory framework involving key stakeholders – regulators, fish farmers and broader NGO interests – since the Rural Economy Committee report on the sector in late 2018.

We will now:

  • Carry out a comprehensive review of national planning policies and the extension of permitted development rights, removing the need to apply for planning permission for priority areas of development, to support economic recovery. We will consult on detailed proposals in the autumn and lay regulations in Parliament later this year.
  • Explore options to alleviate planning restraints, build capacity and deal more quickly with complex applications.
  • Publish a Digital Planning Strategy in November followed by a Programme launch in the New Year which will kickstart a five-year transformation programme to deliver digital tools to realise benefits across business, infrastructure and utility providers, public sector organisations and communities.
  • Develop Scotland’s 4th National Planning Framework (NPF4), providing an opportunity to signal regulatory support for national developments and will finalise our position statement on this in the autumn. The revision of the NPF4, incorporating the Scottish Planning Policy, is ambitious and wide ranging, and a significant opportunity to ensure that a wellbeing economy is embedded across all national planning policies.
  • Commission a suite of research projects for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), including on regulatory mapping, that will help shape policy to support the development of new CCUS infrastructure.
  • Finalise changes to improve regulatory arrangements for aquaculture in relation to wellboat licensing and clarity of spatial planning for new fish farm developments.
  • Examine the scope for making changes to regulatory processes around marine renewables developments – at both strategic and operational levels – through consultation with stakeholders, to provide an improved service through additional resourcing secured from enhanced recovery of costs.
  • Through our ground-breaking Heat Networks Bill, we are creating a regulatory framework for the development of district and communal heating systems in Scotland. The framework draws on successful approaches in Europe, in creating the supportive and bespoke approach needed to deploy these schemes which will be key in meeting Scotland’s net-zero targets.
  • Work through a strategic partnership with Scotland’s network owners (Scottish Power Energy Networks and Scottish and Southern Energy Networks) to develop a clear, evidence-based set of regulatory requirements to put to Ofgem to support a green recovery and transition to a net zero energy system.

We plan to:

  • Launch a call for evidence to take views from our partners across the economy on how we can further improve our approach to regulation to make it more responsive to feedback from those who are affected.
  • Continuously review consenting frameworks for marine renewables to look for opportunities for further simplification and improvements while ensuring protection for our marine environment and the ecosystem services that current and future generations can benefit from our marine environment.
  • Establish regulatory and licencing frameworks for CCUS in co-ordination with the UK Government and seek clarity from the UK Government on CCUS business models, which is needed soon to deliver industry confidence in investment decisions.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Communities

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social
  • Natural

(9) The Scottish Government should deploy its expanding tax powers and business support interventions to enable economic recovery. This should include targeted use of rates relief to incentivise economic recovery and greater use of conditionality in business support, building on the experience of the Business Pledge and Fair Work First.

We broadly accept the need to align support with our long-term climate, economic, social and environmental goals.

We have:

  • Through Fair Work First, rewarded and encouraged employers who commit to adopting fair working practices by attaching fair work criteria to grants, other funding and public contracts awarded by and across the public sector. Fair Work – as defined by the Fair Work Convention – is deliberately broad and non-specific, recognising the diverse make-up of Scottish businesses; attaching fair work criteria enables employers to adopt fair work practices to meet the needs of the business and its workers. The Fair Work First criteria aligns with the Scottish Business Pledge.
  • Explored domestic and international approaches to applying “green” conditionality, noting that the term encompasses a broad range of approaches and interventions and that there are significant risks of unintended consequences (as well as legal and technical/operational challenges).

We will now:

  • Engage with the Fair Work Convention, to progress the implementation of Fair Work First, applying Fair Work criteria to as many grants, other funding and contracts awarded by and across the public sector by May 2021 (in line with the implementation plan); and build on the progress made to this point to further extend Fair Work First from 2021-22. As part of this we will review the Fair Work First criteria to strengthen our focus on creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces and on ensuring effective voice for workers.

We plan to:

  • Continue to explore the role for bespoke approaches that link business support with climate change objectives, building on our experience with Fair Work and emphasising the need to work in partnership with businesses.
  • Prioritise action to address workplace equalities to ensure those who face particular barriers in the labour market, including people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, women and older workers, benefit from fair and equitable access to jobs and sustained employment.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Communities
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals

  • Economic
  • Social
  • Natural

(10) The UK and Scottish Governments should mobilise investment in Scotland’s digital infrastructure, covering broadband and mobile networks, to build resilience and enhance exports.

This recommendation aligns with our existing strategic digital connectivity priorities, reflecting the pivotal role that digital connectivity has played throughout the pandemic.

We have:

  • Established the Logan Review, to consider how we can stimulate and accelerate the maturity of Scotland’s “Technology Ecosystem”, in a way that supports and nurtures technology businesses in Scotland, from the early start-up phase through to fully scaled maturity.
  • Supported the work of the health and emergency services; for example, digital connectivity infrastructure was provided quickly by both Openreach and Vodafone to support the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital on the SEC Campus ahead of its rapid construction.
  • Invested £600 million to extend broadband infrastructure via the Reaching 100% programme that will ensure every home and business in Scotland can access superfast speeds.
  • Invested £25 million via the Scottish 4G Infill Programme to build new masts in selected mobile ‘not-spots’.
  • Established the Scotland 5G Centre, which is developing further projects to improve rural connectivity.
  • Committed £5 million to the Connecting Scotland programme to provide devices, data, skills training and technical support to people on low incomes and digitally excluded who are at high or very high clinical risk from COVID-19.

We will now:

  • Update our Digital Strategy, which will set our infrastructure ambitions within the wider context of aims to transform the delivery of digital public services, establish common operating platforms and bridge skills and education inclusion gap.

We plan to:

  • Work with Scottish Futures Trust to lead the development of Scottish Government’s strategy with the datacentre and international connectivity industry to encourage new investment in sustainable Scottish data hosting facilities.
  • Develop service offers on the Internet of Things (IOT) networks to stimulate demand and support uptake.
  • Work with telecoms operators and key stakeholders to proactively investigate barriers to telecoms deployment.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Communities
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(11) The Green economic recovery is central to recovery overall. The Scottish Government now needs to establish a priority on delivering transformational change with clear sector plans, where the coincidence of emissions reductions, the development of natural capital and job creation are the strongest.

We welcome this recommendation as a positive contribution to ensuring that our recovery drives progress towards a sustainable net zero, circular economy and other environmental objectives as part of a green economic recovery.

We have:

  • Established the £62 million Energy Transition Fund in June, which recognises and supports the transformational changes needed in businesses in the oil, gas and energy sectors over the next five years as they grow and diversify and will help attract private sector investment in the region.
  • Invested £230 million in our Economic Stimulus Package, which included £66 million to kick-start our green recovery, including £7 million to equip buses for physical distancing and the return to work.
  • Increased our funding for domestic energy efficiency schemes this year to £162 million and over £38 million for our non-domestic programmes.
  • Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reset the Heat Transition Deal as our key mechanism for supporting the short term re-start of low carbon heat activity as well as the development of a longer pipeline of projects for investments in future years with £70 million of capital funding calls planned this year.
  • Expand our key low carbon heat and energy efficiency programmes – including the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and Energy Efficient Scotland – ready for significant upscaling of heat in buildings, energy efficiency and low carbon infrastructure investment over the next decade. Set out a clear plan for eliminating emissions from heating our buildings, including challenging the UK Government to move faster and support delivery.
  • We have allocated more than £198 million to our domestic and non-domestic energy efficiency programmes this year to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions from our homes and buildings.
  • Set out the Energy Efficient Scotland and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Programme, which are delivering measures to support the development of a supply chain in Scotland.
  • Invested £30 million in the Spaces for People initiative for temporary walking and cycling routes which enables physical distancing when using active travel during the pandemic.
  • Continued use of the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Carbon code, to ensure a carbon standard that builds market confidence in the capacity of natural assets to deliver emissions removals and to lever in additional private finance for woodland creation and peatland restoration

We will now:

  • Launch our Green Investment Portfolio, identifying £3 billion of investable projects over the next three years.
  • Continue to make substantial investments in woodland expansion and investment in protecting and improving biodiversity.
  • Work with our Local Authorities, to use our ‘Green Growth Accelerator’ to unlock additional investment for infrastructure projects that support the transition to a net zero emissions economy and help transform our cities and regions
  • Continue to support Local Authorities to develop and implement flood protection schemes and will look to support future investment in coastal change adaptation measures.
  • Work with businesses to develop net zero transition plans including a toolkit for transition planning, helping to identify opportunities from the net zero transition.
  • Work with our Scottish Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) to identify green business champions to work with us on generating consensus with other business leaders on green recovery plans and investment – developing real impetus and practical ideas and collaborations.
  • Continue to support hydrogen demonstration projects and we expect to see hydrogen projects come forward and feature strongly within the £62m Energy Transition Fund initiative.

We plan to:

  • In line with our Just Transition approach and the Climate Change Plan update being developed for December 2020, include clear sector policy plans and pathways to net zero.
  • Develop a plan to support SMEs in their engagement with opportunities across the Energy and Oil and Gas sectors through the Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group, working alongside wider industry, public partners and the Trade Unions.
  • Set out a Heat Decarbonisation Policy Statement and updated Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map from the end of this year setting out a clear pathway for transforming the way we heat our homes and buildings, including reducing the demand for heat through energy efficiency measures.
  • Expand our low carbon heat and energy efficiency programmes – including the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and Energy Efficient Scotland – ready for significant upscaling of heat in buildings, energy efficiency and low carbon infrastructure investment over the next decade to transform our homes and buildings so that they are warmer, greener and more efficient.
  • Publish our Hydrogen Policy Statement & Action Plan this year exploring opportunities for the development of a hydrogen economy in Scotland.

NPF outcomes:

  • Environment
  • Economy
  • Communities
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Natural
  • Economic

(12) The financial services sector and the Scottish Government should develop and promote nature-based investments to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural capital. This should include the development of financial solutions to fund forestry and other nature – based solutions, including agriculture, and should be accompanied by the development of a Scottish Natural Capital Census.

We are committed to expanding the delivery of nature based solutions in Scotland.

We have:

  • Through Scottish Forestry spent a record £53.8 million on forestry in 2020-21 to support the sector, and lever additional private investment in nature-based solutions.
  • Committed to invest £250 million in transformational peatland restoration over the next 10 years.

We will now:

  • Launch our Green Investment Portfolio, identifying £3 billion of investable projects over the next three years.
  • Continue to make substantial investments in woodland expansion and investment in protecting and improving biodiversity.

We plan to:

  • Continue to develop our work on measurement of Scotland’s Natural Capital, engaging with our partners to explore the best options for natural capital assessment, including the exploration of a Natural Capital Census, to ensure that impacts on our natural assets can be better taken into account in decision making.

NPF outcomes:

  • Environment

4 Capitals:

  • Natural

(13) The tourism and hospitality industries should work in partnership with the Scottish Government to develop a sustainable future strategy; the Scottish Government should consider a targeted reduction in business rates to support the sectors’ recovery; and it should press the UK Government to consider a reduction in VAT for the sectors.

We agree that it is very important to work with the tourism and hospitality sectors to ensure that they are able to recover from this crisis.

We have:

  • Delivered an overall package of £2.3 billion of business support to Small and Medium Enterprises, of which these sectors have benefited the most. As part of above, delivered Non-domestic rates (NDR) relief, including a 100% relief for properties in retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation.
  • Offered the most competitive NDR relief package in the UK for a number of years and the lowest poundage for 95% of properties.
  • Established the Tourism Recovery Taskforce which will focus on three key areas: Recovery, Investment and Stimulating Demand – reporting in September 2020.
  • Set up a £14 million Hotel Recovery Programme which will help to secure up to 3,000 jobs at Scotland’s larger hotels until the start of the summer 2021 tourism season.
  • Through VisitScotland, delivered £1 million in grants to self-catering businesses to support them through the winter season.

We will now:

  • Enact Scotland’s Tourism Strategy: Scotland – Outlook 2030 which was developed in full collaboration with the visitor economy agencies and industry. It has an overarching aim of becoming the leader in 21st Century tourism, with a focus on wellbeing, climate and wider sustainability.

We plan to:

  • Continue to press the UK Government’s Tourism Ministers’ Group for a longer term and more comprehensive solution to VAT within these sectors. Whilst the current reduction in VAT for parts of the tourism and hospitality sector is welcome, it is short term and selective in nature, missing out some parts of the sector

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Culture
  • International

4 Capitals:

  • Economic

(14) Given the contribution of the arts, culture and creative sector to Scotland’s economy and its social capital, and the nature of its workforce, the Scottish Government should protect and adapt strategically important cultural infrastructure, should work with the sector to increase public and private investment; and should consider the creation of a National Arts Force.

We accept this recommendation and recognise that the arts, culture and creative sector will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s social and economic renewal.

We have:

  • Provided funding to supported creative practitioners through schemes such as – Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund, Creative Scotland Open Fund, Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary and Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund.
  • Launched a new £4 million Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund for the independent museums sector to support the return of staff from furlough and the wider reopening of museums and galleries.
  • Supported our Museums and Galleries through our Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) Urgent Response Fund and the Digital Resilience Fund.
  • Provided a targeted £10 million Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund to help venues who cannot reopen to their audiences yet.
  • Welcomed £97 million of funding from the UK Government for the culture, creative and heritage sectors. We will work in collaboration with our partners and the recently-established National Partnership for Culture to develop the resilience and diversity of the sector.

We will now:

  • Develop plans – consistent with the aims and ambitions of the Culture Strategy for Scotland – to ensure future investments in infrastructure and workforce development focusing on improving diversity in the sector and deepen engagement with those who need additional support to participate in the social and cultural life of their communities.
  • Create a “Culture Collective” (building on the proposal for a National Arts Force), which will also support the industry, by providing opportunities and finance through commissioning freelance artists to perform in other situations whilst their traditional venues remain closed.
  • Work with the recently-established National Partnership for Culture which will play a key role in facilitating and developing an inclusive, sector-wide approach to implementing these recommendations.

We plan to:

  • Pilot and evaluate more strategic and sustainable approaches to funding for culture and the arts, in line with the Advisory Group recommendation and those from A Sustainable Funding System for the Arts in Scotland 2019.
  • Work with artists and practitioners across the sector to ensure they can contribute to this activity

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Culture
  • International
  • Communities

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(15) The Scottish Government should accelerate its work on reforming adult social care; and should urgently review the structure, funding and regulation of the sector to ensure its sustainability and quality going forward. The review should address workforce issues, including the Fair Work Convention’s 2019 report on the sector; and should recognise and support the contribution of unpaid carers.

We welcome this recommendation, and the recognition that adult social care support is an investment in Scotland’s people, society and economy.

We have:

  • Launched the joint Scottish Government/COSLA Reform of Adult Social Care Programme last year.
  • Through our Fair Work in Social Care Group, continued to take forward the recommendations in the Fair Work Convention report into Social Care, published in February 2019.
  • Supported the implementation of the Carers Act.

We will now:

  • Use lessons learned from existing work on reform of adult social care, along with the review of progress with integration of health and social care and the issues that have been highlighted during the pandemic to inform our approach.
  • As confirmed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport in May consider fundamental changes to the way in which social care support in provided within Scotland.

We plan to:

  • Enhance and accelerate the Social Care Programme as a whole, which contains an explicit focus on realising the vision for unpaid carers to be regarded and supported as equal partners in care, alongside how social care support is understood and valued, how it is funded and paid for, and what models of care we need in Scotland and how they are delivered.
  • Progress our work in the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to develop an approach to treat investment and childcare and social care as economic infrastructure, as part of recognising the value that care – paid and unpaid – plays in both our economic and social wellbeing.

NPF outcomes:

  • Communities
  • Human Rights
  • Health
  • Poverty
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(16) The Scottish Government should take immediate action to protect underpin the capacity and financial sustainability of the third sector, in recognition of its important role in building and strengthening social capital. It should examine the scope for longer-term funding arrangements for services; more flexible and collaborative approaches to procurement; and new ways to incentivise private investment in the sector.

We recognise that the third sector is a significant contributor to a wellbeing economy as profit is recycled into communities and social capital is increased by its operation. Building on the positive community led response through the COVID-19 pandemic and improving resilience in our Third Sector will be key to achieving a sustainable wellbeing economy.

We have:

  • Set up the Third Sector Resilience Fund which has provided over £22 million financial support and advice to third sector organisations who would otherwise have succumbed to income and cash flow issues now and in immediate future.
  • Engaged with Third Sector organisations, funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, to deliver summer learning and support programmes, including Young Scot, Youth Link Scotland and Children’s University, all of which are helping to support the most disadvantaged children in our society.
  • Continued to provide targeted support to enable the increased participation of local businesses, including the Third Sector. We will continue to fund the Supplier Development Program and look to it to expand its role to target the development of local market capability; signposting other sources of support for bidders, including supplier toolkits and guidance.

We will now:

  • Work with partners to develop a new Third Sector Recovery Programme combining investment with enhanced business support to help the sector adapt to new ways of working.
  • Set up a new Due Diligence support service across Scottish Government to ensure all portfolios can support the third sector as a major contributor to policy outcomes.

We plan to:

  • Consult through the Procurement Supply Group on which small businesses and Third Sector are represented; undertake a targeted supplier survey on the impact of procurement; and introduce new targeted questions in the annual Small Business Survey to inform market-friendly approaches.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work& Business
  • Communities

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(17) The Scottish Government should support a renewed focus on place-based initiatives, building on the lessons from initiatives on Community Wealth-Building. It should accelerate investment in housing, through the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Scottish Government is committed to the Place Principle. The Place Principle states that we need to work collaboratively, work with communities, work with everything at our disposal, and work towards the most relevant outcomes for that place.

We have:

  • Committed to supporting Community Wealth Building as a means to drive inclusive economic growth and wellbeing.
  • Secured the part-time secondment of the Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies to help further our ambitions around Community Wealth Building.
  • Committed £3 million to an innovative Community Wealth Building pilot through the Ayrshire Regional Growth Deal, due to commence in early 2021.
  • Committed £1.9 billion to City Region and Regional Growth Deals and associated investments building our cultural, transport, digital, industrial and community infrastructure. We work with regional partners to invest in their local priorities. We are working with the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to ensure that these substantial place-based investments deliver inclusive and sustainable growth, including for under-represented, disadvantaged and deprived communities.
  • Supported Regional Economic Partnerships (REPs) to ensure regions across Scotland can leverage key strengths and competitive advantages to provide a strong platform around which to build and align economic recovery and renewal plans across functional economic geographies such as housing and labour market areas.
  • Provided £2 million for towns and Business Improvement Districts, in addition to the £1 million Resilience Fund announced in March and the £50 million 2019-20 Town Centre Capital Fund.
  • Committed £3.5 billion for Affordable Housing over this parliamentary term, and beyond the current target period, we have provided £300 million interim funding certainty for 2021-22 ahead of the budget later this year, to ensure that affordable homes continue to be delivered.
  • Invested £150 million in our Building Scotland Fund, which is supporting housing investments already alongside leveraging significant private finance.
  • Provided Emergency Loan Funding to support small and medium-sized home-builders in Scotland who are experiencing problems with liquidity during the crisis
  • Made a further £50 million available to the First Home Fund to further boost support for first time buyers this year and to support the housing market to recover.
  • Put forward legislation to increase the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) starting threshold to £250,000 for transactions with an effective date between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.
  • Set out the Transport Transition Plan, which outlines the actions taken by Transport Scotland to support our transport system during the crisis.

We will:

  • Continue to invest in regional interventions such as those related to Energy Transition in the North East and around Grangemouth and in making an initial investment of £10 million in Mission Clyde in 2020/21 as a first step in a long term plan and commitment to make the Clyde an engine of sustainable and inclusive growth for the city, the region and Scotland, working with our partner agencies and the business community to coordinate investment and activity in order to maximise opportunities.
  • Ensure that such opportunities are embedded in the wider work of our Regional Economic Partnerships, helping them to maximise the regeneration and economic impact
  • Ensure that the Town Centre Fund supports place-based investment, alongside undertaking a review of Town Centre Action Plan due in December 2020.
  • Take forward delivery of the National Islands Plan which sets out our ambitions, objectives and strategies for improving outcomes for our island communities.
  • Expand the Productivity Club Pilots, in collaboration with SCDI, to establish three new pilot in the North-East Scotland, Highland and the South of Scotland, alongside the continued development of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Pilots.
  • Maximise the contribution that public authorities can make to the four capitals through the strategic interpretation of procurement, and ensuring we continue to play our part in maximising the economic impact of public procurement in terms of Place-based approaches as one of our core broader commitments to Community Wealth Building.
  • leverage the full procurement rules to exploit opportunities that will support economic recovery, making it easier for local businesses to bid for and win contracts and maximising support for critical local supply chain development and resilience within the current rules.
  • strengthen our partnership working and engagement with stakeholders (buyers and suppliers) through, for example, our Procurement Supply Group that comprises business and third sector representatives. This work will be informed by a supplier survey to help us understand the challenges that suppliers face. We will publish the results of the survey and the findings will inform our next steps.
  • Promote and deliver scaled and market-friendly approaches to procurement that consider the capacity of sectors restarting post-COVID; using simplified procurement processes; and ensuring that local businesses, including the Third Sector, are aware of opportunities and more able to respond.
  • Maximise the opportunities for local suppliers and the Third Sector. We will continue to fund the Supplier Development Programme and explore options to increase capability and capacity to develop and grow local markets,
  • Work with public authorities to broaden and advance the impact of the Sustainable Procurement Duty within the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • Publish research carried out on the impact of the Sustainable Procurement Duty within the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, and committing to responding to its findings to support our ambitions for public procurement and maximise its impact for the benefit of people and communities across Scotland.

We plan to:

  • Set out our long-term housing investment plans in our Housing to 2040 strategy.
  • Work with the Scottish National Investment Bank where they invest in housing to align activity and maximise impact. The Bank will be able to use its capital and mission-based approach to secure investment in high quality housing supply across Scotland.
  • Introduce Regional Land Use Partnerships from 2021, to maximise the contribution Scotland’s land plays to meeting climate change goals.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Communities
  • Poverty

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(18) The Scottish Government and local authorities should assess the impact of learning loss and ensure that pupils are fully supported as schools return, in order to mitigate the risk of reduced educational attainment, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

Closing the poverty-related attainment gap is a defining mission of this Government and COVID-19 has not undermined this commitment.

We have:

  • Invested £182 million through the Attainment Scotland Fund helping support Local Authorities and schools to support our most disadvantaged families and to make adjustments to existing plans to be delivered as schools return.
  • Announced a further £135 million over the next 2 years in additional funding to help the return to school and tackle any loss of learning.
  • Delivered summer learning and support programmes, helping to support the most disadvantaged children in our society
  • Invested £9 million in 25,000 laptops (with internet access) for disadvantaged children to support learning outside school.

We will now:

  • Continue to deliver our £30 million commitment to support digital inclusion in addition to allocating £100 million to support opening of schools and recovery plans,

We plan to:

  • Scope out and implement an equity audit with partners to help inform our understanding and future priorities to improve attainment in Scotland.
  • Continue to work with all partners through the Scottish Attainment Challenge to close the attainment gap

NPF outcomes:

  • Children & Young People
  • Education

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Social

(19) The business community should work with the Scottish Government and the enterprise bodies to accelerate the embedding of Fair Work principles, in context of changes to the workplace and to working patterns. This could cover the shift in experience and attitude to flexible and home working which has been accelerated by the pandemic, and the concerns about precarious and “gig economy” work.

We fully accept the need for the business community to continue to work with us and our enterprise agencies embed our Fair Work principles as set out in the Fair Work Convention’s Fair Work Framework.

We have:

  • Published, with the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), COSLA, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Institute of Directors and Scottish Council Development & Industry – a refreshed Statement of Fair Work Practices to guide employers in engaging with their workforce and trade unions to ensure workers are treated fairly and equitably as business and other organisations re-start and the economy re-opens.
  • Published, as part of our collection of guidance to businesses and employers on safer workplaces, guidance on homeworking.
  • In partnership with the Hunter Foundation, provided funding for Flexibility Works to support and promote the development of flexible and family friendly workplaces. This includes offering vital advice and support to business and organisations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

We will now:

  • Assess the scope for the establishment of a Centre for Workplace Transformation in conjunction with SDS, trade unions, business, enterprise agencies and further and higher education establishments, aimed at aimed at improving business performance, productivity, innovation, Fair Work, workforce resilience and worker wellbeing.

We plan to:

  • Consider the role a Centre for Workplace Transformation might play, the value it can add to the labour market landscape in Scotland, and how it could be delivered. Identify an appropriate body to carry out the feasibility planning and deliver recommendations for an effective way forward.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Social
  • Economic

(20) The Scottish Government should refocus its skills strategies to address the risks of unemployment, recognising the importance of high participation sectors, and of improving the provision of lifelong learning to enable people to reskill.

We welcome the focus given by the Advisory Group on skills in our economic recovery.

We have:

  • Focussed on improving the provision of lifelong learning and enabling people to reskill with it being one of the key themes at the heart of the Future Skills Action Plan.
  • Been engaging with Skills Development Scotland, other agencies and key stakeholders to collaboratively review current interventions against emerging labour market intelligence.
  • Launched a targeted Individual Training Account (ITA) programme, for individuals who have become unemployed and those earning £22,000 or less including currently furloughed workers.
  • Doubled investment in workforce upskilling and retraining through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) and established a framework for revised delivery so it benefits more employers and individuals across Scotland.

We will now:

  • Ensure that our skills response builds on the work already in development to identify and plan for the skills and jobs needed for key transitions in the future, including the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan. This will ensure jobs created in response to COVID-19 are sustainable, support a just transition to net zero and help us to achieve our inclusive growth ambitions.

We plan to:

  • Introduce a Transition Training Fund as a flexible, mechanism to support individuals facing redundancy and unemployment in those sectors most exposed to a downturn. This will provide opportunities to upskill and transition into employment in sectors with continuing skills gaps/growth opportunities and to support our transition to net zero.
  • Work with delivery agencies, partners and stakeholders to evaluate FWDF, ITAs and other current skills interventions to ensure alignment and effectiveness. As set out in the Future Skills Action Plan, we are committed to developing a culture of collective investment in skills and will continue to play an active role in workforce development.
  • Support entrepreneurs with sustainable, high growth potential through the delivery of the new second round of the Unlocking Ambition programme. We will provide grant funding with intensive wraparound support for early stage growth potential businesses, with a focus on low carbon.
  • Build Scotland’s reputation as a career destination and implement overseas skills recognition process for Scotland. Detailed design of the talent attraction service for Scotland and delivery of priority activities from the Talent Attraction and Retention Plan, developed collaboratively with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), our enterprise agencies, COSLA and Brand Scotland.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Education
  • Poverty
  • Communities
  • Children & Young People

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Social
  • Economic

(21) The Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government should protect universities and colleges from the financial impact of the crisis, so that they can maintain and enhance their role as “anchor institutions” and take decisive steps to align their teaching and learning provision, including postgraduate skills training, to meet business and employer needs; and to focus their support for research investment and growth.

We accept this recommendation, and have been working with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the sectors and their representative bodies, since the beginning of the pandemic to address existing resource constraints within the system and the scale of the external shock caused by COVID-19.

We have:

  • Announced an additional £75 million of funding for university research to help Scottish universities protect their research and innovation base in the short term.
  • Commissioned the Scottish Funding Council to consider ways of achieving sustainable, coherent provision; defining desired outcomes for fundable bodies; reviewing funding options for learning and teaching; as well as for supporting research and knowledge exchange.

We will now:

  • Take forward the actions on our Sustainability Plan for colleges and universities to address existing resource constraints within the system and the scale of the external shock caused by COVID-19.
  • Work with the SFC to maximise the contribution of existing post graduate programmes and assess the breadth and impact of university business focussed partnerships, such as The Future Made for Success initiative, set up by Heriot-Watt University.

We plan to:

  • Take forward the outcomes of the SFC Review into achieving sustainability within the sector.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Education
  • Children & Young People

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Economic

(22) Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council should collaborate with colleges, universities and businesses to prioritise apprenticeship training; and should respond to youth unemployment with a flexible learning response. This should include further development of Graduate Apprenticeships and online learning.

We accept this recommendation as apprenticeships remain a core part of our skills offer and we have consistently met targets year on year. We agree there is a need for working together with SDS and SFC to respond to the problem of rising youth unemployment.

We have:

  • Continued to invest in Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships – which play a central role in providing opportunities for many of Scotland’s school leavers and young people to help offset rising youth unemployment.
  • Worked with the sectors, Education Scotland and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in support of an expanded, high quality and consistent online learning and training experience to meet the volume and demand for online learning caused by COVID-19.

We will now:

  • Seek to embed Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeship places as part of our wider college and university provision.
  • Work with our colleges in support of further prioritisation, and ensure the best utilisation of our skills budget, including the Flexible Workforce Development Fund in support of greater on-line training provision.

We plan to:

  • Together with the SFC, make recommendations for achieving future sustainable, coherent provision; defining desired outcomes for fundable bodies for 2020-21 and beyond; reviewing funding options for learning and teaching; and supporting research and knowledge exchange.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Education
  • Children & Young People
  • Communities

4 Capitals:

  • Human
  • Economic

(23) The business community, with the support of the Scottish Government and in partnership with local authorities, should mobilise urgently to develop a business-led Scottish Jobs Guarantee scheme. This would respond to the likely increase in unemployment among young people and the serious, generational challenge that this represents for our country.

The Scottish Government accepts the need to develop a business led Scottish Jobs Scheme.

We have:

  • Announced the Scottish Jobs Guarantee, which will be developed in partnership with employers, local authorities, third sector and youth work organisations, to ensure an equitable offer to all young people, and significant employer engagement to ensure a broad range of opportunities for young people.
  • Published, as part of our collection of guidance to businesses and employers on safer workplaces, guidance on homeworking.
  • Invested £5 million in Parental Employability Support Fund to help low income parents into and progress in work in 2020/21

We will now:

  • Invest at least £50 million in measures to support Youth Employment, including the Scottish Job Guarantee. This will build on the UK Government Kickstart scheme and Developing the Young Workforce and will include co-creation of employment strategies for young people in our rural and island communities.
  • Increase investment in activity to support older people back into work through our Transition Training Fund and increasing investment in Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) to support those who are made redundant and continue to support those most disadvantaged in the labour market through our all-age No One Left Behind approach.
  • Extend Fair Start Scotland services for a further two years to March 2023 providing support for unemployed people with disabilities, health conditions and other barriers to moving into fair and sustained work.

We plan to:

  • Continue to work closely with partners including employers, Local Government, the Department for Work and Pensions, SDS, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Groups, the Third Sector, trades unions and other providers to ensure we provide a wide range of opportunities to support people back into work.
  • Engage employers to promote the positive benefits of providing more job opportunities for young people.

NPF outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Communities
  • Children & Young People

4 Capitals:

  • Economic
  • Social

(24) To promote an approach to economic policy that values all of Scotland’s assets, the Scottish Government should consider adopting a Four Pillars framework in forming its future economic strategy, and reporting against it.

We fully accept this recommendation and we are developing a cross-government framework, using Scotland’s National Performance Framework, to track progress towards our outcomes and developing the four capitals approach to ensure we take a longer-term view and are able to join up effectively across Government noting the inter-dependencies across the social, economic, human and natural capital. The ‘four capitals’ approach to our economic recovery seeks to ensure we invest in, preserve and grow our natural, human, social, and economic capital in a way that delivers sustainable outcomes for the wellbeing of our future generations.

(25) To create momentum and build confidence, the Scottish Government should set out its response to the proposals in our report by the end of July, and should publish regular updates on its recovery plan.

We accept this recommendation, and have published our response to the proposals at the beginning of August to ensure a robust and full recovery plan is in place. Going forward we will also publish regular updates to ensure that the recovery plan is progressing.

(NEW 26) In considering our response to the Advisory Group recommendations, we recognise the Group’s consideration of tackling inequalities as being key to our economic recovery. The Scottish Government recognises the necessity of embedding an Equalities and Human Rights approach across our policy thinking and development for economic recovery and renewal. Although not an explicit recommendation, we consider this to be sufficiently important to warrant an explicit commitment as part of our response.

The Scottish Government is committed to integrating an equality and human rights approach to our policy and decision-making processes to ensure our approach to recovery is fit for purpose.

We have:

  • Announced that a new Scottish Government Directorate of Equality, Inclusion, and Human Rights will be established, which will help to raise the status of the government’s work on embedding equality and human rights in our work and to build an even greater regard for equality across society.
  • Committed to continuing to uphold the principles of human dignity, autonomy, respect and equality, as we deal with the pandemic and its consequences, with our Framework for Decision Making set out seven core principles across all our work, including ‘Fair and ethical’ at the heart of our approach.
  • Established the COVID and Ethnicity: Expert Reference Group to ensure that we have an accurate understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on minority ethnic communities in Scotland, and that our policy responses reflect this, and the Social Renewal Advisory Board which has been tasked with developing new policy proposals at pace to help renew Scotland, putting equality, social justice and human rights at the heart of our recovery.
  • Acted to provide support to those groups and communities that need it most, via our £350 million Community Support Fund.
  • Paid for minority ethnic older people to receive hot meals and have provided increased funding for Age Scotland’s national telephone helpline.
  • Translated all public health information into British Sign Language and ensured interpreters are at key briefings.
  • Funded Young Scot to help provide information and social media support for young people;
  • Provided specific advice and funding for the Gypsy/Traveller community to ensure their needs are met during this emergency, including specific funding for essential sanitation facilities for Gypsy/Traveller families.
  • Provided an additional £1.35 million to Scottish Women’s Aid to support service redesign, expand National Helpline capacity and provide support for vulnerable women and children.

We will now:

  • Establish a Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights to work across the Economy portfolio within Scottish Government. This will: further develop our understanding and evidence base on equality and human rights and the economy; ensure we identify and capitalise on opportunities to advance equality and human rights consistently across our programmes; and build wider capacity to embed skills and understanding across our teams.
  • Ensure that equality and human rights are embedded within the monitoring framework that will sit behind our economic recovery plan, including a clear focus on data for those groups that we know have been hardest hit (particularly older and younger people, women, disabled people, and minority ethnic communities; and crucially the intersections between these groups).
  • Continue to work closely with the Equality & Human Rights Commission to ensure that our city deals and growth deals target improvements in outcomes for under-represented, disadvantaged and deprived communities. We are taking steps to make the achievement of equality goals more explicit in our grant conditions.

We plan to:

  • Establish a short-life Ministerial Working Group to maintain momentum and ensure these ambitions are delivered, supported by a senior leadership group of officials (chaired by Director General Economy) who will be responsible for ensuring that equality and human rights are embedded within individual programmes and policies.

Contact

Email: BESTCovidHub@gov.scot

First published: 5 Aug 2020 Last updated: 18 Dec 2020 -