We are clear in our goal of the creation of a defined and ambitious Rural Economic Strategy. We would welcome your feedback on the following questions to enable us to shape it going forward.
1. The development of relevant Scottish Government mainstream policies should consider the effect upon the Rural Economic Strategy and its consequent policies
- How should policy makers in Government make sure that the economic needs of rural Scotland are taken into account?
- Should there be an ability to call to account Scottish Government and their Agencies to ensure collaboration and actions to meet the objectives of the Rural Economic Strategy?
2. Create quality job opportunities (that are well paid, flexible, and purposeful) to promote skills and opportunities, but also deal with inequalities in the rural labour market (such as the gender pay gap)
- What employment opportunities do we need to meet the current and future needs of our changing rural economy? Where should these be? (either by location and/or sector)
- How do we tackle the inequalities we face in rural Scotland? i.e. challenges faced due to age, gender, socio-economic, educational and ethnic background
3. Build on existing work to gather evidence and data to measure the true value of the rural economy and monitor its growth
- Going beyond the economic contribution of rural businesses, what positive examples of social ( i.e. community cohesion), cultural ( i.e. protection of heritage and traditions) and environmental ( i.e. carbon reducing) impacts of rural businesses can you think of?
- What specific outcomes of rural businesses should be measured and why?
4. Encourage future entrepreneurship by ensuring the Scottish Government's rural skills action plan meets the needs of the Rural Economic Strategy
- What skills are required to have a vibrant rural economy?
- How do we best ensure that people of all ages, genders, areas, socio-economic, educational and ethnic backgrounds receive appropriate support?
5. Develop opportunities for the businesses of urban and rural Scotland to share ideas and work together
- How do you think we could do this? (for example through schools or membership organisation groups)
- Facilitating learning/sharing between urban and rural areas to improve and have a better understanding of the opportunities that are available would be new for Scotland. What would interest you in this approach? Are there any benefits/drawbacks?
6. Create communities of interest (digital, physical) where businesses and people can come together to solve problems, share ideas and understand opportunities
- Is there any place that you can think of in your community where people already do this? Can you please tell us about it?
- What might be the benefits of this approach?
- What things would your local community need to help people in your local area come together?
7. Help ensure there are the same opportunities and access to services between urban and rural areas
- For people living and working in rural areas there are often big differences compared to urban areas in what services might be available (things like broadband, childcare, transport, community development etc.) What do you need to enable you to choose to live and work in rural Scotland?
8. Make sure Government policies, regulations, planning and support mechanisms help local businesses
- What types of policies, regulations, planning and business support need to be strengthened or removed to help a wide variety of small and micro businesses in rural areas?
- Can you think of any problems in transport, housing, social care and digital infrastructure that prevent economic growth for your industry sector, business or community?
9. Make sure that community resources that contribute to our economy (like tourist attractions) also deliver benefits to their communities.
- Can you think of any examples of resources in your community e.g. that attract visitors and make money but do not benefit the community?
- Are there examples of attractions in your community that you would like to promote? What could help you do this?
10. Please tell us below if there are any key issues you believe we may have missed
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