Industry Advisory Group for rUK Talent Attraction minutes: April 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 19 April 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • (Chair) Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise
  • Shona Artale, Q2 Solutions
  • Craig Clark, Space Scotland
  • Mark Cowan, Scottish Leather Group
  • Colin Halpin, Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Shona Darroch, Diodes
  • Sarah Ronald, Nile HQ
  • Grieg Rooney, Valneva
  • Ross Tuffee, Digital Technologies Skills Group
  • Gordon McGuinness, Skills Development Scotland
  • Julie Morrison, Scottish Enterprise

SG Officials

  • Adam Reid, Deputy Director, Skills Division
  • Carron Flockhart, Unit Head, Future Skills Strategy
  • Lisa Buchan, Team Leader: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention
  • Colin Carroll, Team Leader, Citizen’s Rights
  • Olivia Pires, Team Leader, Migration Strategy
  • Mike Tuckwell, Senior Policy Officer: Skills, Talent Attraction and Retention


  • Justin Black, Hays Recruitment
  • Morag Watson, Scottish Renewables
  • Steven Grier, Microsoft

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Mr McKee: Welcome extended and thanks for agreeing to be part of this Industry Group on Talent Attraction.

Introductions given by everyone in attendance.

Agenda items

The main points discussed were:

  • scope and remit of the group: focus is on high value sectors initially with a geographical target of rest of UK (rUK) and CTA; immigration is out of scope as is skills interventions such as Graduate Apprenticeships

Issues impacting on attraction and retention were highlighted as:

  • salary inflation
  • retention of staff
  • culture and values
  • impact of COVID-19 leading to re-evaluation of people’s lives and careers
  • discussion around promotion of Scotland as a competitive career destination for rUK talent included
  • identifying opportunities to work with universities and alumni networks
  • clusters and sectors may increase greater awareness of opportunities by working together to promote activities and build a skills pipeline
  • utilising data to target sectors and areas
  • creating a narrative around our values e.g. net zero
  • recognising Entrepreneurs possess valuable transferable skills that can be applied across sectors

The actions arising were

  • Scottish Government to organise focus sessions to explore talent attraction and retention more closely

  • develop a program of talent attraction and retention activities

  • present the outcomes of these sessions at the next full meeting of the Group on 8th June for discussion and endorsement

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

Mr McKee thanked everyone for attending and advised the next meeting date would be confirmed in due course.

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