If not now, when? - Social Renewal Advisory Board report: January 2021

The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up by Scottish Ministers to make proposals that can renew Scotland once we start to emerge from the pandemic. The final report “If not now, when?”, sets a course towards this future.

Annex D – Other Advisory Groups On Renewal

The Expert Reference Group on Covid-19 and Ethnicity was set up by the Scottish Government to consider and inform the approach in relation to the impacts of Covid-19 on minority ethnic communities. The Group, made up of academics and other expert advisers alongside Scottish Government officials, is co-chaired by Dr Ima Jackson and Prof Vittal Katikireddi, with Paul Johnston (Director General of Local Government and Communities) acting as senior sponsor. The Minister for Older People and Equalities also sits on the group. The Expert Reference Group contributed significantly to the Scottish Government's emerging approach, and continues to advise on proposed actions to mitigate the harms felt by minority ethnic communities in relation to Covid-19. It published a set of recommendations on ethnicity data and on systemic issues in September 2020, with the Scottish Government responding in November 2020.

The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery was established in April 2020. The remit of the Group was to provide expert advice on Scotland's economic recovery once the immediate emergency, created by coronavirus, has subsided. Specifically the Group was asked to advise on the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, including measures to support different sectoral and regional challenges the economy will face in recovery. In addition, it was asked to consider how business practice will change as a result of coronavirus, including opportunities to operate differently and how Government policy can help the transition towards a greener, net-zero and wellbeing economy. The Advisory Group's Report 'Towards a Robust Wellbeing Economy for Scotland' was published on 22 June 2020 and the Scottish Government response to the report entitled 'Economic Recovery Implementation Plan was published on 5 August 2020.

Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review - In May 2020, Mark Logan was commissioned by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, to undertake a short-life review into how Scotland's technology sector can contribute to the country's economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. The review's 34 recommendations are primarily concerned with stimulating and accelerating the maturity of Scotland's "Technology Ecosystem". This means the system, in its widest sense, that supports and nurtures technology businesses in Scotland, from the early start-up phase through to fully scaled maturity.

Covid-19 Education Recovery Group - The Group, co-chaired by the Deputy First Minister and the COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson, brings together decision-makers and key influencers to ensure that the delivery of childcare, early learning and education maintains a strong focus on excellence and equity for all, within the necessary constraints of the Covid-19 response. It provides leadership and advice to ministers and local government leaders in developing the strategic approach to the response and recovery of the early learning and childcare and education system. It works across organisational and structural boundaries to support the response and recovery efforts. consider and provide advice on any proposed changes in Scottish education strategy, taking into account any long-term effects of the Covid-19 response. It is a forum for frank and open discussion about what is working and what and where more improvement is required.

The Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group was convened by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, to discuss actions relating to climate change and a green recovery from Covid-19. Members discussed the new challenges Scotland is facing as a result of the pandemic, as well as the opportunities for a green recovery; rebuilding our economy in a way that delivery a greener, fairer and more equal society. The group brings together a broad range of experts from across society, including MSPs, business and industry representatives, trade-unions, eNGOs and academics. Members are able to use the space to discuss tangible policy deliverables to meet the climate change targets set by Parliament, as well as our wider objectives for wellbeing, the economy and equality. The Group has discussed a variety of topics, including green finance, just transition, the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery and Deep Dives on energy, natural capital, place and transport. Social renewal and wellbeing have been crucial themes in discussion. Members have emphasised the importance of a just transition; a recovery that ensures that the risks are managed and that our transition is fair and ethnical. The pandemic has shown how abrupt and unplanned shifts can exacerbate inequalities. Now, more than ever, we need a just transition that supports sustainable economic growth and jobs, whilst ensuring no one is left behind. This includes helping to reduce wider inequalities on issues such as fuel poverty, protecting and generating employment opportunities, and to avoid passing unnecessary costs or disruption to consumers.


Email: socialrenewal@gov.scot

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