Nicola Sturgeon to outline strategy for modernising Scotland's economy

Written by Tom Freeman on 31 August 2017 in News

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to outline economic strategy including a new board to oversee the enterprise and skills agencies

Nicola Sturgeon - David Anderson/Holyrood

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today outline the government's plans for growing and modernising Scotland's economy with the help of a new strategic board to oversee the enterprise and skills agencies.

Plans to merge the boards of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland were abandoned after being rejected by MSPs, but the Scottish Government still plans to establish a strategic board to "align the priorities" of the boards.

It will be chaired by the chairwoman of UK regions for global PR firm Weber Shandwick, Nora Senior.


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New technology will be key to the way the economy is changing, Sturgeon will say today.

Speaking ahead of a visit to AeroSpace in Prestwick, she said Scotland must be "more ambitious" in tackling social and technological changes.

"For enterprise and economic development specifically, we spend £100 a head more than the UK as a whole.  Yet we must move more quickly to secure our economic future – one that focuses on innovation and inclusion and creates an economy that works for the benefit of all of Scotland’s people.”

As well as her role in PR, Senior recently served as president of the British Chambers of Commerce and chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

On taking the role she said: "There is clear ambition to increase productivity and drive inclusive economic growth in Scotland. To achieve that we need to maximise the considerable investment in enterprise and skills development to ensure we have the right skills, resources and business support in place  

"The Strategic Board creates a central  focus for representatives from business, education ,our economic agencies and civic communities from around Scotland to align behind a common purpose and vision, input to the most effective areas of investment, collaborate and share resources."

Economic growth in Scotland outstripped the UK in the first quarter of 2017, at 0.8 per cent compared to 0.2 per cent for the UK as a whole.Economists have warned the economy is still fragile though, citing Brexit as a major cause of uncertainty.

 

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