Scotland National Strategy for Economic Transformation: industry leadership groups and sector groups - evidence

This paper provides summary evidence received from Scotland's industry leadership groups and other economic sector groups as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation engagement process.

15. Paper Manufacturing Sector

Figure 15.1 – Turnover and GVA of the Scottish Wood and Paper Manufacturing Sector [27]
Figure 15.2 – Employment of the Scottish Wood and Paper Manufacturing Sector [28]

Industry Aspirations to 2030

The sector aims to diversify and become more environmentally friendly to curb potential industry decline.

Industry Opportunities

The sector sees opportunities to:

  • diversify into other markets to attempt to curb decline whilst simultaneously preserving the expertise and infrastructure already in place;
  • pivot quickly into emerging markets. Some companies in the paper sector were able to quickly manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic, due to already having the necessary equipment to do so; and,
  • green development. Paper packaging is a more environmentally friendly alternative to other packaging material, such as plastics.

Industry Challenges

The industry faces a number of challenges through changes in consumer demand. The sector has declining levels of activity and operate in an increasingly challenging market where consumer habits are shifting towards a more environmentally friendly digital demand. Newspaper and magazine physical printing and publishing is in decline and most printing SMEs struggle to win contracts and rely on public bodies as clients. Additionally, integrating digital platforms into the industry will be a challenge.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Industry

Print Scotland, the Scottish trade association, concentrates predominantly on provision of skills training and general advice.



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