National Strategy for Economic Transformation Delivery Board minutes: July 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 6 July 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy, Co-Chair
  • Barry White, Co-Chair, Former Chief Executive, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Ellis Watson, Former Chief Executive, DC Thomson Media Group
  • Colette Cohen, CEO, The Net Zero Technology Centre
  • Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive, Edinburgh College
  • Sir Simon Lister, Managing Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships
  • Jamie McGowan, Managing Director, Essence of Harris
  • Douglas Millican, CEO, Scottish Water


  • Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive, Cyrenians
  • Gillian Docherty, Chief Commercial Officer, University of Strathclyde
  • Roz Foyer, General Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Congress
  • Uzma Khan, Vice Principal Economic Development and Innovation, and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, University of Glasgow
  • Nora Senior, Former Executive Group Chair, Weber Shandwick and past Chair, Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board

Supporting officials

  • Louise Macdonald, Director General Economy, Scottish Government
  • Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Key points and recommendations

The purpose of the call was to provide an opportunity for early feedback to the team preparing the metrics paper in advance of the September 2022 National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) Delivery Board meeting.

  • the purpose of the meeting was to have a short introductory session covering the proposed approach to measuring success in NSET. A short paper accompanied the discussion
  • where possible we should integrate our approach with the wider economic briefing that Scottish Government (SG) produces so as not to duplicate effort, with the suggestion of pulling together other Office of the Chief Economic Adviser (OCEA) materials
  • there is perhaps a gap in terms of  current economic conditions and sentiment
  • getting underneath headline figures is important - and the hierarchical approach proposed here is helpful - allowing us to identify headline areas on which to focus more closely
  • also supportive of the approach described in the paper to link actions to outcomes
  • understand which actions are expected to have a relatively marginal contribution and which are more significant so that the board can pay attention to what matters.
  • also important to show linkages between programmes when identifying priority actions
  • the measures may not adequately capture long term/sustainable success of entrepreneurialism such as strength of patient capital investment or measure of scaling capability.
  • a measure on vital communities such as community engagement or community happiness should be considered
  • ensure measures are defined appropriately so we have confidence that they give the insight that we are seeking
  • we should be aligned with the National Performance Framework (NPF) and Wellbeing Economy Monitor (WEM) but also consider opportunity to align with the National Impact Framework being developed by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC); using “skills led education” to support economic performance
  • there are different timescales for the measures, i.e. some will be short term while others may not be impacted for many years, and should we acknowledge this in the measures
  • changes in Entrepreneurial mind-set are key to NSET and we should ensure we can capture this, the Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate could capture this
  • consider inclusion of a measure capturing government investment
  • the very act of selecting measures will in themselves shape behaviours but we should be flexible about selection as NSET delivery progresses and where the economic context changes
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