Looking To the Future
There are ILGs in a variety of different sectors, and new groups in emerging sectors that are not formally ILGs. This review does not seek to prescribe which sectors should have an ILG - rather to articulate what an ILG should be and the offer and ask from Scottish Government and its agencies.
It is clear not all sectors have the infrastructure to maintain or step into the ILG role.
There is an important choice here about the focus of finite public sector support. This review recommends a greater focus for transitional public sector funding for emerging sectors with a clear goal of moving these to the independent, established status.
It also sets out a framework: factors which should be used on a case by case basis to determine the nature of and conditions for public sector engagement and support, set also in the context of regular time-bound reviews.
This leads us to outline a typology of sector support, recognising the different maturity of sectors and recognising those sectors which impact beyond their own sectoral focus. This typology is aligned to the Scottish Government's Economic Action Plan which aims to ensure we build resilience, enable recovery and growth, and restructure for the future.
Emerging sector / recovery
Greater public sector support for emerging sectors and clusters (without infrastructure) with the aim of establishing the sector
Established sector / resilience
Industry led - industry funded
These sectors are in a position to step into the role of an ILG as outlined in this document.
Underpinning and Restructuring Government funding
Sectors with a broader remit also related to national resilience and strategic priorities. National Infrastructure are those facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes, necessary for a country to function and upon which daily life depends. While there are 13 national infrastructure sectors (Chemicals, Civil Nuclear Communications, Defence, Emergency Services, Energy, Finance, Food, Government, Health, Space, Transport and Water) only a small number connect to ILGs and our shared focus on growth.
This review recommends a range of substantive changes to Scottish Ministers, to ILGs and other business leaders. They have to work together to implement this new approach, and agree the timeframe and mechanisms for implementation: ensuring that ILGs have the skills and people to deliver; that support and evaluation structures are developed; that funding issues are considered and addressed. That work should be progressed at pace, given the immediate economic challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.