Manufacturing - recovery plan: equalities impact assessment
The Equalities and Fairer Scotland Impact Assessment (EQIA) for Making Scotland's Future: A Recovery Plan for Manufacturing considers how the Recovery Plan impacts on the diverse groups of manufacturing stakeholders, and its socio-economic impact to help reduce inequalities in Scotland.
Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing has been developed in collaboration with partners across the public, private and academic sectors, including significant input from industry.
In line with the report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, which recommended that bespoke sector recovery plans are put in place, Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing proposes a series of targeted actions for public agencies, industry and academia to take forward by the end of 2021. They are designed to secure a strong, sustainable future for the manufacturing sector across four inter-dependent priority areas:
- Collaboration and networks
- Supply chains and competitiveness
- Adaptation and transformation
- Skills and workforce
The plan contains a number of both immediate actions, and longer term actions. Immediate actions have the full support of industry representatives involved in their development and reflect the urgency of certain activity needed as the economic crisis continues to evolve.
The manufacturing sector, its workers and those tasked with supporting them face the greatest challenge in generations. What began as a public health crisis has become a global economic crisis – growth has stalled, businesses have had to close and there have been many job losses with the likelihood of more to come. The pandemic has also highlighted, and in many cases worsened, the inequalities in our society with those with the least before the crisis often worst affected by both the health and economic impacts.
That is why Fair Work is more important than ever and must be at the heart of our economic recovery and renewal, ensuring that the inequalities in Scottish society are addressed and that every single individual is given the same chance to achieve their potential. The Scottish Government’s dedication to this agenda is long-standing and is shared by partners across the public, private and third sectors, trade unions and others who will help us develop and deliver this recovery plan.
Who will it affect?
Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing primarily affects all those who are involved in the Scottish manufacturing Industry. It will directly affect employers, employees, trade unions and workplace representatives, workplace contractors, customers, suppliers and delivery drivers.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The Scottish Government is mindful of the three needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) - eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not1. Therefore Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing has been designed to take into account the needs of the PSED when considering what actions should be taken forward.
Where any negative impacts have been identified, we have sought to address this by considering how the actions proposed in the plan can be implemented in such a way as to mitigate any negative impacts. We are also mindful that the equality duty is not just about negating or mitigating negative impacts, as we also have a positive duty to promote equality. We have sought to do this through considering how the actions proposed in the plan can have a positive impact in reducing inequality.
Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing recognises that there will be positive impacts across many of the protected characteristics by setting out a targeted plan to safeguard and grow Scotland’s manufacturing sector. By protecting jobs and helping the sector to ‘build back better’ the plan will allow businesses to upskill their workforce, take advantage of digital technology and move towards net-zero. This will provide an opportunity to encourage greater diversity in the manufacturing workforce; in particular the actions outlined in the Skills and Workforce Priority theme provide an opportunity to target people in categories which are historically underrepresented in manufacturing.
Fairer Scotland Duty
We are also required by the Fairer Scotland Duty (which forms part of the Equality Act 2010) to actively consider ('pay due regard' to) how to reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage and to consider alternative options to maximise our impact. The draft Fairer Duty Scotland assessment can be found here.
The plan will have a positive effect on low paid, vulnerable, workers in the manufacturing industry by protecting their jobs, helping them to upskill and supporting the sector as it rebuilds.
What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?
If the plan is not publicised or communicated widely enough, it will fail to reach a sufficient percentage of Scotland’s manufacturing base.
For the plan to achieve its goals it requires ‘buy-in’ from industry, public sector and academic organisations across Scotland. Without this it will not be possible to have the impact it needs to meet its goals around collaboration.
There is also a danger that the main effects of the plan could be centred around certain sub-sectors or around certain sizes of manufacturing enterprises. This could have the effect of impacting disproportionately on certain protected characteristics or creating socio-economic disadvantage. To avoid this care must be taken to ensure the plan covers all sizes and types of manufacturing enterprises throughout Scotland.
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