A Scotland for the future: opportunities and challenges of Scotland's changing population

Scotland’s first national population strategy, framing the diverse and cross-cutting demographic challenges that Scotland faces at national and local level, and setting out a programme of work to address these challenges and harness new opportunities.

Next Steps: Summary Of Our Actions

In this paper we have set out the national demographic challenge that Scotland faces, and identified the steps we will take – working with our partners – to address it. This work requires a whole-system approach and there is not one silver bullet which will solve the problems for each community. However, actions needs to be taken now to protect our communities now and in the future. 

Some of the more immediate actions we will take include the development of rural migration pilots proposals, in collaboration with local government to consider with the UK Government; the pilot of rural projects that can help address rural and island repopulation as part of the Islands Plan Implementation work; further learning and investment in the Clyde Gateway and the launch of the Scottish National Investment Bank and any investments that can help affect demographic change.

Throughout this document, we have laid out our plans for actions to take, and where we need to do more through exploring new opportunities to deliver change. We will provide updates on the population programme in due course, to make sure the interventions we are taking are the right ones. The totality of the actions within this paper are provided in the table below. 

# Action Action for Chapter
1 We will review the actions of the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to ensure they remain fit for purpose and support women through the COVID-19 recovery Scottish Government with employers Family friendly
2 We commit to build more affordable homes as well as shared equity schemes for those who really need to buy a home Scottish Government and Local Authorities
3 We will use the collaborative Brand Scotland marketing communications strategy to promote Scotland as a family friendly nation and promote resources such as Parent Club to help attract talent to our country Scottish Government 
4 We will call on the UK Government to make changes to employment law to pursue a gender-blind parental leave Scottish Government and UK Government 
5 We will explore offering fertility services to all those within society who wish to raise a family and do not have the means to do so Scottish Government 
6 We will explore opportunities to ensure breastfeeding breaks are available to all new mothers in the workplace Scottish Government with employers
# Action Action for Chapter
7 We will continue to invest in improving population health and reducing health inequalities to ensure that people are supported to live longer healthier lives Scottish Government  Healthy Living
8 We must consider the changing nature of demand of an older population and adjust our healthcare provision accordingly Scottish Government and Health Boards
9 We will consider innovation and technological tools to support our future ageing population Scottish Government 
10 We will explore opportunities to help people live longer and fuller working lives and remove barriers which force older people to leave the workforce before they wish to  Scottish Government with employers
11 We will ensure our housing options allow our population to live independently at home for longer Scottish Government and Local Authorities
12 We will ensure the quality of life for our older people is enhanced to combat social isolation Scottish Government 
# Action Action for Chapter
13 We will continue to develop an evidence-based case for a tailored Scottish approach to migration Scottish Government  Migration
14 We will work with local government partners to develop proposals for a remote and rural migration service pilot to present to the UK Government Scottish Government, Local Authorities and UK Government 
15 We commit to publishing a report from our Expert Advisory Group on a different approach to family migration Scottish Government 
16 We will continue to press for vital reforms to the UK immigration system Scottish Government and UK Government
17 We will continue to consider options to attract international students to Scotland, such as exploring a new scholarship offering and develop an international student retention programme. Scottish Government with university sector
18 We will explore, through our talent attraction and retention service, how we can attract talent from across the rest of the UK, particularly in key sectors identified in our Inward Investment Plan  Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland
19 We commit to undertake work to explore how we and partners can offer a support package to those who wish to move and work in Scotland, including support around housing, spousal recruitment and family support where needed as part of our talent attraction and retention work Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland
20 We will undertake work to look at students who go on to leave Scotland for work and other reasons and explore opportunities to encourage them to stay or return  Scottish Government with university sector
# Action Action for Chapter
21 We will champion the call for regional models of economic development and recovery and ensure place is at the forefront of all Government developments Scottish Government and Local Authorities Balance
22 We will work with the housing sector to make self-build homes a mainstream delivery option Scottish Government with housing sector
23 We will continue to drive forward planning reform to improve how we plan our future places and support local government in considering planning as a strategic tool to respond to population change Scottish Government and Local Authorities
24 We will consider the Scottish Government's workplace footprint and explore opportunities to distribute our workforce across the country Scottish Government 
25 We commit to considering the Christie Commission a decade on and ensuring our public services are fit to serve our population for now and in the future Scottish Government
26 We will consider community work hubs for people to work in who may no longer need to work in offices every day, but to reduce the impact of home working Scottish Government and Local Authorities
27 We will consider the role of our anchor institutions and national partners and ensure their work is aligned to the population programme Scottish Government and Local Authorities with anchor institutions
28 We will explore opportunities to support Local Authorities in the short-term deal with the demographic pressures of the present Scottish Government and Local Authorities
# Action Action for Chapter
29 We will deliver a range of engagement sessions throughout 2021 to hear the views from the public, academic institutions, the private sector, the third sector Scottish Government Engagement and Evidence
30 We will engage with international countries to share learning and best practice on addressing demographic challenge, with an aim of hosting a demographic event later in 2021 Scottish Government
31 We will engage with the UK Government to ensure demography is at the forefront of UK-wide policy-making and push for change or further powers in specific reserved areas Scottish Government and UK Government
32 We will carry out further evidence and analysis on existing policies and literature to identify further areas of exploration Scottish Government
33 We will review the membership of the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population and commission a workplan for them for areas to focus on Scottish Government
34 We will develop a measurement framework to measure and monitor progress in addressing our demographic challenges Scottish Government
35 We will look to establish a Demographic Commission to carry out further analysis and open up conversations on future actions Scottish Government
36 We will consider how to drive change in Scotland and our partners, considering legal powers and other methods in ensuring this national challenge is addressed Scottish Government and partners


Email: population@gov.scot

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