Ambitious Plans to Build an Inclusive Future

Steve Dunlop, CEO Scottish Enterprise

The definition of economic success is changing. Successful nations no longer seek only to create wealth; they distribute wealth so that success and happiness is shared by everyone – this is the very definition of inclusive growth.

Currently in Scotland, less than 70% of working age adults are in employment in Glasgow, while in Aberdeenshire the proportion is over 80%. And 15% of workers earn less than the living wage in Edinburgh, while 30% do in Dumfries & Galloway.

Scotland, along with many other developed countries, continues to struggle with an uneven spread of economic success. Deprivation and affluence are all too often uneasy bedfellows.

As the national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise must be at the heart of delivering the Scottish Government’s ambition for a nation where wellbeing shares centre stage with sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We are doing this through the new direction set out in our Strategic Framework – a greater focus on placemaking, fair work and communities. We need to play our part to deliver for the whole economy; working with business to create more, quality jobs that help reduce poverty across Scotland.

The ambitious plans include a stronger focus on creating and protecting quality jobs which give people opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect, nurturing shared wealth and collective wellbeing.

We’re making job-related grants contingent on fair work practices, including job security and payment of the real living wage. We’re ensuring stronger partnership working to target more investment in the places where it can make a significant difference to communities and reduce geographical economic inequalities. And we’re bringing in new measures to raise the growth ambition of all businesses and boost entrepreneurial spirit across all parts of society.

That’s how you build a future where every community, every family, and every individual benefits from economic success.