Scotland's Economic Performance


About the Inquiry

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee held an inquiry into Scotland's economic performance from 2007-2017. The inquiry focused on the following areas:

  • GDP growth and productivity
  • Inequality and labour market issues
  • Inclusive growth

The remit for the inquiry was:

To examine Scotland's economic performance since 2007 and understand the reasons for recent trends and divergences in performance between Scotland and the UK as a whole, other regions/nations in the UK, and other countries in the EU. The inquiry will also identify challenges and opportunities facing the Scottish economy over the next ten years and understand what action is required to make Scotland's economy more inclusive, innovative and international.


The inquiry call for views closed on 13 November 2017 (more information below).

Evidence sessions were held on:

  • 21 November 2017
  • 16 January 2018
  • 23 January 2018
  • 30 January 2018
  • 6 February 2018
  • 27 February 2018
  • 6 March 2018
  • 13 March 2018
  • 20 March 2018
  • 27 March 2018
  • 17 April 2018
  • 19 April 2018
  • 22 May 2018


The Committee issued its call for views on 21 September 2017. The closing date for submissions was 13 November 2017. 

Enterprise Agencies Case Studies


21 November 2017

At its meeting on 21 November, the Committee held its introductory evidence session. The Committee took evidence from:

  • Professor Julia Darby, Head of Department, University of Srathclyde
  • Richard Marsh, Director, 4-Consulting
  • Professor Catia Montagna, Chair of Economics, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr Tanya Wilson, Early Career Fello, University of Stirling
  • Dr Alexandros Zangelidis. Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen

16 January 2018

The Committee took evidence on inclusive growth:

  • Craig Dalzell, Head of Research, Common Weal
  • Michael Jacobs, Director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, Institute for Public Policy Research
  • John McLaren, Scottish Trends
  • Ryan McQuigg, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Oxfam Scotland

23 January 2018

The Committee took evidence from the Scottish Fiscal Commission:

  • John Ireland, Chief Executive
  • Mairi Spowage, Deputy Chief Executive
  • David Wilson, Commissioner
  • David Stone, Head of Economy and Income Tax Forecasting, SFC

30 January 2018

The Committee's focus was on entrepreneurship:

  • Jackie Brierton, Vice-Chair, Women's Enterprise Scotland and CEO GrowBiz
  • Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive, Entrepreneurial Scotland
  • Jim McColl, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Clyde Blowers Capital
  • Dr Suzanne Mawson, Lecturer, Management Work and Organisation, University of Stirling

6 February 2018

The Committee took evidence from businesses:

  • Leah Hutcheon, Founder and CEO, Appointedd
  • Karen Pickering, Chair of the Board, Page/Park Architects
  • Paddy Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Aubin Group
  • Alison Grieve, CEO and Inventor, G-Hold
  • Sara Roberts, Founder, CEO, Healthy Nibbles
  • Professor Gary McEwan, Chief Executive, Elevator
  • Vicky Brock, Founder, Clear Returns
  • Laurie Russell, Chief Executive, The Wise Group
  • Jonny Kinross, Chief Executive, Grassmarket Community Project

27 February 2018

The Committee's focus was on the enterprise and skills agencies:

  • Nora Senior, Chair, Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills
  • Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Strategy and Sectors, Scottish Enterprise
  • David Oxley, Director of Business and Sector Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Sarah Deas, Head of Inclusive Models, Scottish Enterprise
  • Gordon McGuinness, Director of Industry and Enterprise Networks, Skills Development Scotland
  • Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council

6 March 2018

The Committee took evidence on innovation:

  • Alastair Sim, Director, Universities Scotland
  • Sandy Finlayson, Chair, Converge Challenge
  • Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal, Robert Gordon University

13 March 2018

The Committee heard about investment:

  • Sir Harry Burns, Professor Sara Carter and Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Council of Economic Advisers
  • Laurie MacFarlane, Research Associate, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
  • Kerry Sharp, Director, Scottish Investment Bank
  • David Ovens, Chief Operating Officer, Archangels
  • Peter Reekie, Chief Executive, Scottish Futures Trust

20 March 2018

The Committee took evidence on the growth sectors:

  • Graeme Jones, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Joshua Ryan-Saha, Skills Programme Manager, The Data Lab
  • Louise Smith, Fintech Envoy Scotland, HM Treasury
  • Dr Peter Mowforth, Chief Executive, INDEZ Ltd
  • Emil Stickland, Director, Thrive Digital
  • Chris van der Kuyl, Chairman, 4J Studios
  • Stephen Good, Chief Executive Officer, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
  • Mark Baxter, Managing Director, Galliford Try Investments
  • Annie Gunner-Logan, Director, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care
  • Alastair Wylie, Chairman and Chief Executive, CCG Construction Group

17 April 2018

The Committee discussed internationalisation and export:

  • Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Engineering
  • Karen Betts, Chief Executive Officer, Scotch Whisky Association
  • Neil Francis, Interim Managing Director, Scottish Development International (SDI)
  • James Brodie, Director, Scotland and China Business Adviser, ChinaBritain Business Council
  • Clare Slipper, Political Affairs Manager, NFU Scotland

19 April 2018

The Committee took evidence on the UK Industrial Strategy:

  • Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Jenny Bates, Director, EU Exit and Economic Partnerships, UK Government

22 May 2018

The Committee concluded its inquiry by taking evidence from the Cabinet Secretary:

  • Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Mary MacAllan, Director for Economic Development, Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Hugh McAloon, Head of Fair Work and Skills, and Sam Anson, Deputy Director, Economic Policy. Scottish Government

Visits and Events


On 7 October 2019, the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary to seek an update on a number of the Committee's recommendations:

On 21 November 2019 the Cabinet Secretary provided an update to the Committee.


 The Committee reported on 21 June 2018.

On 2 August 2018 the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work provided further information.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work responded to the report on 3 September 2018.

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