Industry Advisory Group for rUK Talent Attraction minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 11 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • (Chair) Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise
  • Shona Artale, Q2 Solutions (dial in)
  • Craig Clark, Space Scotland
  • Shona Darroch, Diodes
  • Ross Tuffee, Digital Technologies Skills Group
  • Steven Grier, Microsoft
  • Justin Black, Hays Recruitment
  • Mark Cowan, Scottish Leather Group
  • Morag Watson, Scottish Renewables (dial in)
  • Gordon McGuinness, Skills Development Scotland
  • Linda Spence, Talent Scotland

SG Officials

  • Lisa Buchan, Team Leader: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Elaine Park, 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
  • Julie Morrison, Scottish Enterprise
  • Colin Halpin, Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Grieg Rooney, Valneva

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 and approval of previous meeting minutes.

Minutes were approved.

Agenda items

Presentation Glasgow Science Centre

Presentation by our host Stephen Breslin CEO Glasgow Science Centre highlighting their work with school age children, with a view to encouraging an interest in working in STEM from an early age and showcasing Scotland as a great place to study and work in that sector. Engaging with children and creating a solid connection to Scotland early on will inspire them to stay in Scotland for study and work.

Terms of reference and membership review

Acceptance by members of the TOR and discussion around 1-2-1 meetings members had with SG officials to check in and establish their continued interest in involvement with the group. Suggestion to include SMB within group as most organisations represented are large scale businesses. Consider someone from LinkedIn or Social Media.

Slide presented to highlight the seven work streams- initial discussion around data.

Presentation by Hays Recruitment

A comprehensive breakdown of recruitment activity over the last 4 months, highlighting that 35% of applications came from rUK. Example provided of higher tax bracket applications (over £40k) and Technology applications in last month. It was highlighted that job board marketing is not having the same impact since COVID-19 and there may be a big move to pay per click. Around one third of jobs advertised are WFH.

Work streams discussion

Examples provided of people in the 50-60 age bracket moving to Scotland and what their priorities are.

It was recognised there were many groups to target and that different sectors had different needs. It could be beneficial to have smaller, targeted working groups based on those specific needs.

Discussion around landing support and how key this is in retaining people.

The group agreed that Scotland is not good at shouting about achievements and what is done well. Agreement that showcasing big names who have relocated to Scotland and the achievements of Scottish companies and people would help to attract people. It is important to tap into the work Innovation Centres are doing and other examples that can be used for marketing.

Members indicated they would be happy to talk about talent attraction at events if provided with marketing materials. Discussion around Talent Scotland video ‘Why move to Scotland’ and marketing that was already available as well as marketing that could be produced along with partner organisations.

Another key area identified was the ‘passive market’: those with the skills and experience needed to fill the shortages but they are not currently engaged in the labour market. Discussed ways of attracting this group. The importance of entrepreneurships was highlighted and creating the right ecosystems to convince graduates that Scotland is a great place to found their business.

In terms of student retention and attracting students from rUK, discussion around skills required in each sector, what courses are available and where, and which institutions had specialities across universities and colleges in rUK.

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

Mr McKee thanked our host Stephen Breslin and members for their contributions. The next meeting will also be in person around the first week in December.

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