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Publication - Minutes

Enterprise and Skills Review Implementation Board minutes: August 2017

Published: 10 Oct 2017
Date of meeting: 30 Aug 2017
Location: St Andrew's House, Edinburgh

Minutes and papers of the meeting of the Enterprise and Skills Review Implementation Board on 30 August 2017.

10 Oct 2017
Enterprise and Skills Review Implementation Board minutes: August 2017

Items and actions

Item 1 – Welcome

Prof Crerar welcomed the members to the meeting. He noted apologies from Mark Bevan from SCDI, and Lord Thurso from VisitScotland, he then highlighted Linda Hanna representing SE, and that Professor Sir Ian Diamond would be joining via teleconferencing.

Item 2 - Minutes of previous meeting

Prof Crerar advised the members that comments supplied on the previous meeting notes had now been incorporated and that the action points had been progressed. The meeting notes were then agreed.

Item 3 – Programme Progress Update

Simon Coote briefly presented on paper IB(30-08-17)(02), with particular reference to the material in annexes B to D:

Annex B & C: A progress update on all identified actions and an example of how projects are being developed across the programme:

  • Simon confirmed that work with project teams continued to develop the actions log, including in line with IB members’ commentary to make a clearer distinction between governance /implementation work and the wider policy delivery element of the programme. Annex C is an example of work being undertaken by the Programme Office to develop formal project profiles and timelines for each of the project workstreams.

Annex D: An update on the communications and engagement strategy.

  • Simon updated the members on the progress being made around comms and engagement since the last meeting. He confirmed that web pages had been created for the Enterprise and Skills Review and the Implementation Board, and that minutes and papers will be published once cleared by the Board.

Item 4 – Strategic Board Membership

Simon Coote talked to paper IB (30-08-17)(03) outlining the proposals for membership of the Strategic Board following the feedback from IB members on the proposal issued on 7 August. He confirmed that the feedback included a number of options which had been taken into consideration, particularly around the configuration of the membership.

The members were reminded that the Cabinet Secretary for Economy , Jobs and Fair Work had advised that he would like the members of the SB to have collective responsibility to the SB rather than organisational representation on the Board. Candidates should be selected because they have the skill-sets and experience required to make the Board work effectively. They would not be there to represent the interests of their respective sectors, but rather as members of the SB and with responsibility to deliver improvements in the system as a whole.

Members discussed remuneration for some members: agency chairs, for example, should already be remunerated for this work via their agencies. However, a view was expressed that remuneration should not be made to members, although it was recognised that for some prospective members from the private sector, third sector and social enterprises, the potential for remuneration might make it easier for their respective organisations to release their time, and thus ensure a better pool of candidates.

Request for competencies required for board membership – SG to speak to sponsor bodies and provide profile. There was discussion around the skills set and competencies required by an effective Strategic Board and hence what would be looked for across Board members. There was a need to consider the appropriate balance of SB membership, including in relation to diversity of the business voice and the balance between business and TU representation. There was discussion about which other important economic agencies could usefully attend the SB.

It was reiterated that ministers will have the final decision on who the members will be, but that this will be decided following consultation with the new Chair of the Strategic Board to be announced on 31 August. (post meeting update: now confirmed as Nora Senior)

Action: SG to issue a note to IB members clarifying whether IB members would be asked to nominate suggested candidates for SB membership or whether this would be done through informal dialogue.

Action: SG to provide proposed profile for board membership.

Item 5 – South of Scotland Draft Interim Proposals

Oonagh Gil updated the members on the progress being made in putting interim arrangements in place for the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. She confirmed that a range of meetings had taken place with a range of key South of Scotland stakeholders that had explored potential structural options.

The option supported by stakeholders was a partnership model bringing together the key organisations operating in the South of Scotland behind an agreed partnership agreement. The interim partnership arrangements would be chaired by someone from the private sector with other private sector interests on the partnership and be co-ordinated by a lead individual from the public sector. Staff and financial resources to support delivery were also being considered to ensure the success of the interim arrangements.

The members were content with the proposal. They highlighted that there should be a strong level of engagement with customers from the area who should be involved in the design of the system. In response to a question about who is in the partnership, it was confirmed that this comprised LAs and agencies at present.

Action: SG to update the members on the progress made on the interim arrangements at the next IB meeting in September.

Item 6 - Short Term Project Groups

1. Strategic Plan

Linda Hanna updated on the work being taken in the development of the draft Strategic Plan. She confirmed that this is a complex landscape which had been mapped out, and that there was a twin approach of: i) an interim plan recording early collaborative and key strategic actions to avoid hiatus/maintain momentum, alongside ii) a recommendation of a strategic planning process for the new SB to develop a more comprehensive long term strategic plan. It was noted that the plan sought to align with Scotland’s Economic Strategy and the emerging Inclusive Growth Framework.

Members discussed this further and commended those involved for the work produced in such a short period of time, and recognised that there is a lot of work still to be done. A number of specific points were raised, including:

  • Take the time to get it right, ensure sufficient flexibility for SB;
  • Potentially reducing the number of near-term collaborative actions;
  • There was appetite for more transformational actions but recognition that these will take time to develop as they need to be evidence based. Economic performance gaps should be interrogated;
  • A need to ensure consistency of Fair Work metrics;
  • The plan needs to clarify what success looks like;
  • Ensuring that sustainability is mainstreamed;
  • Placing sufficient emphasis upon diversity of place, and specifically disaggregation of ‘rural’;
  • The importance of infrastructure and its influence on economic performance;
  • The Strategic Plan should include not a just short-term time horizon but also medium and long term horizons (ie 15 to 20 years to implement permanent legacy change and transcend political cycles);
  • The plan of the SB will cover the levers of the enterprise and skills agencies. This should be embedded within a wider economic delivery plan for all of Scotland, creating the link between these actions and the broader economic levers such as transport;
  • There should be clarity in the strategic framework that the plan is working to.

Work will continue and Linda Hanna will report back on further progress at the next IB meeting.

Action: Work will continue and Linda Hanna will report back on further progress at the next IB meeting.

2. Governance and Advice

Damien Yeates updated the members on the progress made with this project, confirming that following the previous IB meeting the proposed committee structure had been cast in line with the draft Strategic Plan. The intention was to focus the committees on achieving better outcomes and impacts, rather than moving into the operational space of the agency boards.

The level of collaborative work undertaken by the project group and subsequent progress was commended. There was discussion around the Strategic Committees/Hubs proposed, these being: Dynamic, inclusive, globally competitive economy; High performing, inclusive labour market; and Analytical Support Services.
There was further discussion around the suggestion of a committee focussing on fostering a culture of shared leadership and collaboration across the agencies. It was agreed that this was likely to require a long-term commitment. Views differed on whether or not this should exist as a formal committee of the SB. The Chair considered that it should.

A meeting of agency CEO’s was happening after this IB and it was greed that the CEOs group should feedback to the next IB around the collaborative agenda emerging from for the CEOs group.

There was also discussion around the positioning of the analytical hub and whether this perhaps sat in a different part of the governance model from the other committees. There was also widespread enthusiasm for the most streamlined model possible that is capable of delivering the desired outcomes – i.e. avoid superfluous ‘clutter’. We should be clear on the rationale for any committee. The relationship between the new governance and local government was raised.

Going forward it was proposed that Governance Group would progress a number of actions including:

  • Developing a draft Terms of Reference for the High Performing Inclusive Labour Market and the Analytical Support Services Committees/Hubs.
  • Undertake further work to determine the nature of the appropriate committee structures to support the theme around ‘Dynamic, Globally Competitive, Inclusive Economy’
  • Complete the governance forums mapping exercise and consider a RAG type status which would help to describe the potential relationship between the Strategic Board, the Strategic Committees/Hubs and Agency and non-Agency governance forums.

Action: Damien Yeates to update members on progress at the September IB meeting.

Action: Bob Keiller to feedback to the next IB on the collaborative agenda emerging from for the CEOs group.

3. Analytical Unit and Performance Framework

Gary Gillespie presented a paper and updated briefly on the work that’s been done to date to progress the Analytical Unit and Performance Framework.

Gary confirmed that he had approval to advertise externally for the Analytical Unit Head. He is looking to get this role filled quickly but highlighted that between the SG and the agencies there is resource already there to take forward this work in the meantime.

Action: Gary Gillespie will provide an update at the next meeting.

Item 7. Any other Business

None raised



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