Publication - Minutes

Enterprise and Skills Review Implementation Board minutes: July 2017

Published: 7 Sep 2017
Date of meeting: 31 Jul 2017
Date of next 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 31 July 2017.

7 Sep 2017
Enterprise and Skills Review Implementation Board minutes: July 2017

Items and actions

Item 1 – Welcome

Prof Crerar welcomed the members to the meeting. He noted apologies from Liz Cameron from SCC, Donald MacRae from HIE, Susan Love from FSB, Bob Keiller from SE and Hugh Aitken from CBI, he then highlighted Martin Fairbairn as representing SFC, Carroll Buxton for HIE and Linda Hanna for SE.

Item 2 - Minutes of previous meeting

Prof Crerar informed the members that all comments supplied on the previous meeting notes had now been incorporated and that the action points had been progressed. He confirmed that Bob Keiller would be asked to lead on the CEO Group. The meeting notes were then agreed.

Item 3 - Remit and Terms of Reference

The Remit and Terms of Reference were agreed, subject to deletion of the last sentence under the “Collective Responsibility” heading on the 4th page, which reads: “Once a decision has been reached, all members should support it.”

Item 4 - Programme Progress Update

Simon Coote briefly presented on paper IB(31-07-17)(03), with particular reference to the material in annexes A to C:

Annex A: An updated Implementation Board timeline:

  • Minor changes had been made where cross cutting priorities had been moved to August, Simon explained the reason behind this and the timeline was then agreed.

Annex B: A progress update on all identified actions:

  • Simon confirmed that the actions log contained all actions from the Phase 2 report in regards to all workstreams, he advised that the lead individual /organisation for the actions may evolve and welcomed any feedback/comments on the document from members.

  • There was discussion around the process for appointments of members to the Strategic Board (SB). The Chair will be a ministerial appointment and the process for other member is likely to be the same.

  • There was suggestion that work should be convened to consider the optimal size and configuration of Board membership. Membership will consist of core agency chairs, business interests and cross-sectorial representatives. Members felt it was also important to ensure a broad mix of organisations and to include the third sector. They were reassured the ministers have also been clear that they want an appropriate “civic mix”.

  • Members confirmed that they would like sight of the proposed configuration of the Board and process for appointments.

Action – Sam Anson agreed to produce a document for members to provide intercessional comment. This will cover process, size and configuration.

Annex C: An updated draft communications and engagement strategy.

The members were content with the Comms Strategy but asked that they be kept informed of actions being taken to implement this.

Action - Simon Coote to update at next meeting on action being taken to implement the Comms Strategy.

Item 5 - Short Term Project Groups

  1. Analytical Unit and Performance Framework

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

He confirmed that resource will be required to drive this forward - he will run a recruitment process over the next 4-5 months for a sufficiently senior individual for the post to lead the unit. He advised that he will lead on work in the meantime to drive it forward.

There followed a discussion around the short term resource to make early progress. Concerns were raised that developing the Performance Framework over the next few weeks will require dedicated resource which was yet to be allocated. SE confirmed that they had offered resource for this project.

Gary tabled slides setting out a package of wider work and proposed that the Performance Framework is built upon this. One significant benefit of this approach is commonality with other, wider work at all levels. The challenge is the very broad scope.

A key aspect that needs further focus is addressing the question of “what can we do about it?” to focus on change and ensuring maximum impact from the system. In that regard, the Strategic Plan and the Performance Framework will need to be internally consistent.

Members raised concerns that there could be a risk of duplication at other levels (e.g. LA level) and reinforced that we should focus on the positive change that using this information can bring.

There was a suggestion that the skills and expertise of the analytical capability of the NHS could be tapped into. May be useful particularly for the inclusive growth element. It was confirmed that the project group were already engaging with the Health and OECD.

The members recognised the importance of trying to match the indicators as closely as possible with the changes being sought. Insights and analysis work will be a particularly informative element. City deal engagement is planned to have this analytical work at its heart.

Action: - Gary will look to convene a meeting in August, and will provide a fuller outline of the proposed framework at the next meeting.

2. Strategic plan

Linda Hanna updated on the approach being taken in the development of the Strategic Plan.

Linda highlighted that, in this period over the Summer, it will only be possible to make a start on the Strategic Plan. In particular, it will need to rely on the work of the Analytical Unit and detailed understanding derived there. The draft is based on the five productivity drivers, although it was suggested that it should be wider than that (for example, inclusive growth should also be considered). Important to take the time to get this right and to be able to give the Strategic Board a firm recommendation that they can build on.

This first stage development has just been among the agencies, but it is felt that it is important to bring in wider interests from other members and the offer remains to the group to involve those with an interest.

It is intended that a draft plan will be produced by end September. This draft would set out the high-level vision on which a more detailed plan can be developed under the auspices of the SB.

It was noted that the short term project groups explicitly cover some of the recommendations emanating from the Phase 2 projects but there is less formal governance around others (e.g. International). This constituted a potential risk of the IB having less oversight of their progress. Through the discussions it was noted that all projects are covered in the action log, and will be accountable to the IB through that reporting tool. There is a distinction between functional work – which is largely the domain of the bespoke project groups - and policy work, which will be embedded within the Strategic Plan where ownership resides with the agencies.

It was agreed that the plan should also be broader than simply collaborative actions, and that it should represent the aggregate activity of our enterprise and skills system. This is an opportunity to ensure everything is captured within a broad framework which the SB can then shape. There is also an opportunity to look at constraints which the SB can influence.


  • SG to map out the dynamic between the work associated with the short term project groups and the other workstreams of the review.

  • Stephen Boyle and Gary Gillespie to sit on the Strategic Plan group.

3. Governance and Advice

Damien Yeates confirmed that the group had met twice, and that there was strong engagement from the IB members. They have agreed areas around purpose, principles process, resource implications (secretariat) etc. Committee themes need to flow from the core priorities and the themes identified by the strategic board and next steps.

Need to ensure the inclusive growth aspect is embedded. Agreed that SB should have oversight of the Analytical Unit via a strategic committee. Need to make sure the opportunity exists for external expertise to be used.

Actions: - Damien Yeates will draw up a draft structure for the Strategic Board and update at the next meeting.

Item 6. South of Scotland Enterprise Agency

Mary McAllan set out the discussion that had taken place around structure for interim arrangements for the body. She confirmed that the group had met with the local authorities (Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders) and others on 27 July to discuss governance arrangements and map out what is happening at present. The group are now reaching out more widely to include other offers from business organisations who have an interest.

Early indication is that a Partnership arrangement is the most popular option for the interim arrangements, but it is too early to be sure and requires further engagement on options.

The intention is to have someone appointed quickly to lead this interim work, and recognition that there will need to be a team to support that individual. Involvement of LAs was welcomed. Impact on neighbouring areas is also being considered including South Lanarkshire who have raised this with SG.

Action: - Mary to present a paper setting out a proposition on interim arrangements to next board on 30 August. Want to engage during the process of drafting that paper.

Item 7. Any other Business

None raised



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