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.

7. Electronics/ Electrical Manufacturing Sector

Figure 7.1 – Turnover and GVA of the Scottish Electronic Engineering Sector [13]
Figure 7.2 – Employment of the Scottish Electronic Engineering Sector [14]

Industry Aspirations to 2030

The industry’s Making Scotland’s Future progamme includes aims to support a transition to a low carbon manufacturing sector and an increased use of digitisation and data. The related Manufacturing Recovery Plan sets out actions in 2021 to drive forward a sustainable recovery for the sector as an initial focus for programme partners:

  • The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) lies at the heart of Making Scotland’s Future, working with business, academia and enterprise and skills agencies to deliver an integrated system of support for manufacturing across Scotland; and,
  • NMIS is also working to transform manufacturing skills, productivity and innovation that is accessible to firms of all sizes, sectors and location.

Industry Opportunities

The electrical manufacturing sector sees considerable opportunities ahead:

  • There is an opportunity to best utilise Scottish Government’s investment of £75 million in NMIS;
  • There will be opportunities for new, good green jobs in this sector which will be boosted by the Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund, a Scottish Government investment of £26m over 5 years to help develop new technologies to reduce carbon emissions; and,
  • There is also an opportunity to develop collaboration and networks, supply chains and competitiveness, adaptation and transformation and skills as identified by the Manufacturing Recovery Plan.

Industry Challenges

The key challenges facing the sector are as follows:

  • the transformation of the sector to a low carbon manufacturing sector could potentially result in the loss of some jobs;
  • the availability, cost and logistical cost of raw material is a challenge; and,
  • there is also a lack of skilled, part skilled and manual workers, which is becoming more pronounced as orders increase.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Industry

The Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) and the Making Scotland’s FutureMaking Scotland’s Future programme form the key planned activity for the sector. The 12 projects of the AMCF are now in operation as part of to create jobs, drive growth and boost productivity. The total project funding of £15.8m will provide a range of free services to manufacturing SMEs.

Making Scotland’s Future quickly established a Manufacturing Recovery Plan as a response to the pandemic. The 21 actions within this Plan became the focus of the partnership, which comprised industry, academic and public sector, during 2021, and has:

  • through the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, launched a range of remote support tools and delivered a series of digital events (webinars, conference);
  • through NMIS, achieved £1.98m funding from the National Transition Training Fund to take forward five projects to support the manufacturing workforce;
  • launched a ‘Smart Things Accelerator Centre’ as a 18-month scale-up programme for start up businesses;
  • launched a CivTech Challenge which, if successful, aims to find a solution, through technology, to help manufacturers to decarbonise;
  • been developing a pilot to help SME manufacturers realise the benefits of autonomous technology through collaborative implementation; and
  • been developing networks to support better cross sectoral collaboration.

Moving forwards, Making Scotland’s Future will look to transition to a subsequent forward programme that aims to reconcile the existing support landscape and to establish an overarching structure to bring together the various strands of sector intervention to maximise opportunity and minimise overlap.



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