Industry Advisory Group for rUK Talent Attraction minutes: September 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 1 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • (Chair) Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise
  • Shona Artale, Q2 Solutions
  • Craig Clark, Space Scotland
  • Shona Darroch, Diodes
  • Grieg Rooney, Valneva
  • Ross Tuffee, Digital Technologies Skills Group
  • Steven Grier, Microsoft
  • Justin Black, Hays Recruitment
  • Colin Halpin, Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Mark Cowan, Scottish Leather Group
  • Marion Beattie, SDS

SG Officials

  • Lisa Buchan, Team Leader: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Colin Carroll, Team Leader: Population and Migration
  • Elaine Park, Senior Policy Officer: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Mike Tuckwell, Senior Policy Officer: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Lisa Young, Policy Officer: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Gillian McPhie, Skills Planning Policy Officer: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention


  • Sarah Ronald, Nile HQ
  • Gordon McGuinness, Skills Development Scotland
  • Julie Morrison, Scottish Enterprise
  • Morag Watson, Scottish Renewables

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Welcome extended and apologies noted.

Progress on actions and summary of discussion from previous meetings

Mr McKee invited comment on previous meeting minutes and the migration statistics which were shared.

Migration statistics, visas and International student graduates were discussed in detail and Mr McKee suggested that it would be beneficial to invite Wendy Alexander to talk to the group as she had carried out extensive research on students and migration.

Programme of activity

Outline of the proposal for a showcase event at Scotland House, jointly organised with Digital and Inward Investment team. This was highlighted as a pilot event and in the early stages of development. Working towards a date in early 2023. The group provided suggestions on how this could work well:  Engage with universities and key Scottish businesses in regards to potential attendees including key business leaders who can speak about their success in Scotland; digital marketing; speak to Fintech Scotland who have experience of similar events and Hays can potentially link us with contacts on their database.

Agenda items

Talent Attraction and Migration Service

Update on the proposed Talent Attraction and Migration Service and what its function will be. Examples given on international best practice and research carried out with people who have already moved here and what attracted them to come to Scotland.

Alumni activity

Overview provided on alumni network activity and specifically entrepreneurial alumni with a view to keeping alumni in Scotland to grow their business - with the caveat that some alumni living elsewhere can also bring a benefit to Scotland through inward investment.

Discussion around “Workations” which is similar to Digital Nomads in that people come to work in a country for 2‑3 months - tax would still be paid to the country employing them, but it is a way of letting someone get a taster for living here.

Mr McKee highlighted three strands the group should focus on:

  •  What activity can we do in rUK to attract people to move to Scotland and what sectors do we wish to attract them to first?
  •  What can we do to attract people back who graduated in Scotland and then moved to rUK? This may be easier due to their connection to Scotland – family ties etc.
  •  Persuade graduates not to leave in the first place but also to recognise the benefits of inward investment for those who do leave and bring investment back to Scotland.

To do this we need to look at generic marketing and digital marketing, research/statistics, remote engagement with alumni.

Close of meeting and final remarks - AOB and date of next meeting

Mr McKee thanked everyone for attending and for their contributions and advised that the next meeting is intended to be in person on Tuesday 11 October at 15:00 and an agenda will follow soon.

Back to top