Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation – Programme 3: Productive Businesses and Regions Equality Impact Assessment (Record and Results)

Summary of results for the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) undertaken to consider the impacts on equality of Programme 3 of Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

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Policy Aim

The vision of Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), published on 1 March 2022, is for Scotland to be a wellbeing economy, thriving across economic, social and environmental dimensions. The strategy sets out an ambition that Scotland's economy will significantly outperform the last decade, both in terms of economic performance and tackling structural economic inequalities.

Analysis of the available evidence has identified six interconnected, transformational Programmes of Action to shift the economic dial and deliver our vision. Together, they tackle long term structural challenges, build on our economic strengths and position Scotland to maximise the greatest economic opportunities of the next ten years in a way that will transform the very fundamentals of how our economy works.

As part of the wider NSET, Programme 3 aims to make Scotland's businesses, industries, regions, communities and public services more productive and innovative through the delivery of a step-change in Scotland's productivity performance, addressing regional inequalities in economic activity, as well as boosting traditional and digital infrastructure. By assuring that Scotland makes the best use of the resources available by boosting productivity, addressing regional inequalities and making improvements to our infrastructure, we will be able to transition to a greener economy that is efficient as well as globally competitive.

To achieve this, Programme 3 is made of 3 projects across a broad policy landscape. These include:[1]

  • Project 8: Improve Connectivity Infrastructure and Digital Adoption Across the Economy;
  • Project 9: Upskill Business and Public Sector Leaders, Pioneering New Approaches to Driving Productivity Improvements;
  • Project 10: Realise the Potential of the Different Economic and Community Assets and Strengths of Scotland's Regions.

To ensure that Programme 3 meets its aims, the Scottish Government has established a Programme Delivery Board to further develop the Programme's Delivery Plan and monitor its progress. The board is chaired by Monica Patterson, the Chief Executive Officer of East Lothian Council and economy lead for SOLACE,[2] with membership drawn from a range of key stakeholders and partners.

Who will it affect?

The focus of Programme 3 will be on a national scale and impact a wide range of people. It will seek to improve Scotland's overall economic prosperity through developing our infrastructure, delivering upskilling activities across private and public sectors and supporting communities and regions to harness their assets.

Commitments within Programme 3, as with the wider NSET, will adopt a person-centred approach when considering the impact of these policies, and will pay specific attention to protected characteristics. This will ensure that the Programme can address entrenched inequalities and that the cumulative positive impacts on people, and particularly those who experience disadvantage, will be maximised.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

Due to the breadth of NSET's vision to reshape our economy and society, the factors that will influence its delivery are wide-ranging. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis has had a disproportionate impact on those already experiencing inequalities, and Scotland's regions have experienced this in different ways. It is evident that failing to take a targeted person-centred approach to improve outcomes for those specific groups who experience most disadvantage may lead to inequalities being entrenched further.

Achieving the desired outcomes will require government, public sector, businesses, trade unions, third sector and social enterprises across all industries and sectors to take action and work together in a Team Scotland approach to delivery.



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