Making Scotland's Future - recovery plan for manufacturing - draft: consultation

We are consulting on Making Scotland's Future - a draft recovery plan for manufacturing which proposes a set of actions for delivery over the next 12 months which has been designed with industry, public sector, trade union and academia.

Next steps

In its response to the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, the Scottish Government pledged to work in partnership with others to co-produce sector recovery plans.

Making Scotland’s Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing brings together a partnership of industry, academia and the public sector to propose a range of actions over the next 12 months that will support the manufacturing sector’s recovery.

The suite of actions summarised below focus on identifying opportunities for both recovery and growth, and complement the range of business support measures that have already been made available to help deliver long-term sustainability for the Scottish sector. This includes the Aerospace Response Group which has brought together partners and stakeholders with the aim of preserving Scotland’s aerospace manufacturing and research and development capability and safeguarding jobs.

Work has begun on the Immediate Actions. We are now seeking rapid input from industry and other stakeholders on the Proposed Actions with a final plan and list of actions due to be published in March 2021.

Comments on the Proposed Actions, referencing the relevant Action Code(s), should be sent via email to or via the Scottish Government’s consultation platform by 12 February 2021.

Immediate Actions

  • Develop a manufacturing ‘network of networks’ to pool and coordinate the resources of the variety of public and private networks already in operation. As well as improving impact and alignment during a time of rapid change, it will help to raise awareness of Scottish manufacturing and help with the development of new relationships between the Scottish manufacturing community and other UK and international stakeholders. [Action Code CN1]
  • Deliver an engagement programme for manufacturing companies to maximise opportunities to increase Scottish content, helping businesses boost resilience and access new or existing supply chains in priority sectors. [Action Code SCC1]
  • Increase the economic impact of public sector procurement, by combining our knowledge and understanding of the market to identify and help equip new and existing Scottish supply chains to anticipate and respond to public sector demand. [Action Code SCC2]
  • Support inward investors to help identify opportunities for Scottish manufacturers created by new and emerging supply chains to bring more business to Scotland. [Action Code SCC3]
  • Deliver webinars and provide remote support tools on business improvement, technology adoption and upskilling to ensure manufacturers stay competitive now and in the future. [Action Code SCC4]
  • Promote a supply chain excellence programme of recognised best practice models to develop a culture of performance and innovation across Scottish manufacturing businesses. [Action Code SCC5]
  • Roll-out a digital adoption campaign to communicate the benefits of digital transformation and offer real-life examples of companies that have successfully adapted processes. Case studies and evidence from existing digital adoption/development loans and grants should be used to help businesses see the potential benefits of integration. [Action Code AT1]
  • Use the Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund, Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, Green Jobs Fund and relevant UK funds to drive collaborative development across supply chains of new manufacturing processes and technologies which support the transition to a circular, net zero economy. [Action Code AT2]
  • Encourage employers to utilise the range of available incentives to retain, adopt and recruit apprentices, to mitigate the current disruption, maintain a robust future skills pipeline and promote progressive Fair Work practices across the manufacturing sector. [Action Code SWF1]
  • Adapt existing and develop new learning models to address the hiatus in traditional recruitment channels e.g. Apprenticeship Pathways and Host Employer Models. [Action Code SWF2]
  • Work with partners to develop a strategic support programme for sectors adversely impacted by the pandemic, to support displaced workers and to maximise and enhance their existing skillsets for jobs in growth sectors. [Action Code SWF3]
  • Work collaboratively within the ‘One Scotland Team’ to inform the skills priorities for the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP). [Action Code SWF4]

Proposed Actions

  • Build a programme of activity designed to stimulate demand for investment in manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the development of stronger business cases. This will involve a Manufacturing Investment Forum for bringing the manufacturing and investment communities together. It will also involve the more widespread promotion of tools and resources available to help SMEs win external funding. [Action Code CN2]
  • Develop a manufacturing start up accelerator facility in Scotland drawing on international best practice and linking with Scotland’s wider entrepreneurial system. This will cater for the fact that manufacturing companies can have significant early stage capital investment requirements. [Action Code CN3]
  • Build a programme of activity to increase the use of external funding by Scottish manufacturing, including City and Growth Deals, UK Sector Deals, UK Industrial Strategy funds and other competitions. This will involve shaping and raising awareness of new opportunities at the UK level, increasing participation from industry in Scotland and influencing the success of bids. [Action Code CN4]
  • Promote collaboration between companies around sharing resources, costs and risks, including bidding jointly for contracts, sharing facilities and equipment, and joint approaches to exporting and marketing. This will involve the consideration of cooperative business models. [Action Code CN5]
  • Build a programme of international collaborations, leading to increased levels of manufacturing-related research funding and international trade and investment. [Action Code CN6]
  • Any Scottish company looking for public sector assistance for digital transformation should be accredited to a minimum standard of Cyber Essentials (as outlined in Scottish Government guidance) to protect themselves against common online security threats by no later than 31 March 2022. [Action Code AT3]
  • Align support mechanisms such as the Digital Development Loan, that enable companies to pilot and then implement capital modernisation solutions such as automation and robotics. [Action Code AT4]
  • Build on expertise gained through existing Scottish clusters, such as the Scottish manufacture of PPE, and develop new clusters. The focus should be on building and onshoring new supply chains and encouraging clusters to undertake collaborative environmental and digital transformations. [Action Code AT5]
  • Through NMIS and the Manufacturing Skills Academy provide innovative and agile skills interventions to enable employers to respond to the emerging needs of new technologies and workplace practices, supporting businesses and creating higher skills provision for individuals. [Action Code SWF5]
  • Develop a skills partnership programme to support regional and cluster development, to promote collaborative models of workforce and leadership, and to develop and foster agile communities of practice to support Fair Work and deliver future skills requirements. [Action Code SWF6]
  • Establish fast-track employment models to address emerging skill shortages and jobs growth. [Action Code SWF7]
  • Initiate actions to mitigate the debilitating impact of graduate unemployment, creating meaningful work experience, education, training and employment opportunities across the manufacturing sector to optimise graduate talent. [Action Code SWF8]
  • In partnership, develop learning experiences to promote and enhance commercial awareness, foster enterprising behaviours and encourage progressive leadership practice within our manufacturing sector. [Action Code SWF9]

A Making Scotland’s Future Programme Board governs this work and its ongoing development, and will monitor progress against the actions over the delivery phase (until December 2021).



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