Green recovery: Why resilience through the lens of sustainability is the only strategy
The blog highlighted below has been written by Lord Deben, The Rt Hon. John Gummer for the publication edie. edie are an industry-leading, purpose-driven business media brand that empowers sustainability, energy and environmental professionals of all levels to make business more sustainable through award-winning content and events.
While this blog has been written with the private sector in mind, I felt that it was equally applicable to any third sector organisation and possibly more relevant to social enterprises as we move through Covid-19 Recovery stage. I hope that you will find this blog to be both thought provoking and informative.
Scottish Government releases independent report on a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland
Report from the independent Advisory Group established by the Scottish Government to advise on Scotland’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report details the findings of the independent Advisory Group on Economic Recovery which was established by the Scottish Government in April 2020 to provide expert advice on supporting the different regions and sectors of Scotland’s economy to recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Published on 22 June the report contains a series of recommendations directed at both the Scottish Government and other actors in Scotland’s economy identifying interventions to support Scotland’s economic recovery and facilitate the transition towards a greener, fairer and more inclusive economy with wellbeing at its heart. The recommendations were informed by widespread engagement with the business community, trade unions, the third sector and wider civil society amongst others. A selection of these submissions can be found at the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery’s webpage. All of the submissions where permission has been granted for these to be published will follow in July.
Social Enterprises can play a key role in helping Scotland to recover from Covid-19. The Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery has launched a consultation on how the country should respond once the pandemic begins to subside in Scotland. And Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS) wants to see social enterprises at the forefront of the economic fightback. In a response to the consultation, CEIS chair Maureen Porch said that businesses should learn from social enterprises to help staff feel valued." She said: “In relation to business practice I would strongly commend a social enterprise model as being eminently suited to the recovery phase and beyond." “The effects of coronavirus have highlighted that the market value of jobs does not match the social value that we would associate with those jobs that have proved so vital over the last few months." “A social enterprise model that is business orientated and is comfortable with trading, with competition and with accountability. But crucially it is a model that focuses squarely on its social and environmental impact and where any profits are reinvested for that purpose. In doing so the vast majority of social enterprises have an excellent track record on fair employment and is a sector where pay is proportionate to skills and responsibility avoiding the vast salary and condition chasms that are a feature of parts of the private sector." “The sector can play an increasingly prominent role in economic recovery and in certain sectors, for example in care services, is clearly allied to an ethical and values driven service.”
__________________________________________ Introducing SE Connect On 1st July, Senscot and Social Firms Scotland (SFS) will merge into a new, single entity – Social Enterprise Connect Scotland (SE Connect). This will not be news to many of you – and follows not only on the back of the SE Review of social enterprise intermediaries (part of the SE Action Plan 2017-20) - but also after almost a decade of working closely together on a range of issues that, SENScot and Social Firms Scotland believe, have been of importance to front-line social and community enterprises across Scotland.
Both Senscot and SFS have played their respective roles in helping to support the Scottish social enterprise community over the last two decades – and the new body – SE Connect – will now act as the national representative body for social enterprise and social firms in Scotland - seeking to represent their interests and values. They will be working with others across the sector – at both a local and national level - to help develop policies and practices that will add value to communities across the country – and to raise awareness of the important contribution made by social and community enterprises to the social and economic fabric of our country.
Council leader urges acceleration of rural growth deal for Argyll and Bute Published Date: 16 Jun 2020 - 15:29 The Leader of Argyll and Bute Council has urged the UK and Scottish Governments to progress Argyll and Bute’s rural growth deal, and so support the area’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Councillor Aileen Morton has written to the Secretary of State for Scotland and to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Islands and Connectivity, following the council’s recent agreement of an economic recovery plan for Argyll and Bute which features the £50 million+ rural growth deal (RGD). Councillor Morton said: “We have to look after our economic health as well as our physical health for our communities to live well. Jobs lost, businesses at risk, regeneration on hold – an unhealthy economy drags everyone down in some way. Our rural growth deal can and will play a key role in Argyll and Bute’s Covid-19 recovery. Moving it ahead at pace has always been absolutely crucial for Argyll and Bute, even before the pandemic took its toll. The area faces unique challenges of a falling population and diverse geography. The Deal is all about bringing transformational investment into the area, to turn economic opportunities into growth and a sustainable future for Argyll and Bute. Making Argyll and Bute economically successful will also contribute to a UK-wide economic recovery. We would urge both Governments therefore to work with us in delivering with urgency the economic support Argyll and Bute needs.” Both the Scottish and UK Governments have committed £25 million each in support of projects, designed by the council, to deliver success across Argyll and Bute based on: Attracting: additional skills, training and learning opportunities: new residents,
visitors and businesses;
Growing: doing more of what works; making more of our natural and built resources; and
Connecting: our high value business sectors with national and international business markets; our local economic successes with national strategic priorities.
The overarching aim of the RGD is to meet the council’s vision of economic success based on a growing population. The next stage in the process is to agree Heads of Terms which will set out how the £50 million funding will be put to use for Argyll and Bute. Note: The Leader wrote to the Rt Hon Alister Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland and to Michael Matheson, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Islands and Connectivity.
DWP training register The DWP is looking for providers to join their Dynamic Purchasing System to deliver training and support, including digital delivery and remote video sessions. The priority areas are:
Employability – Training of any type that leads to a job outcome. (e.g. Security, Child minding, Bus/Lorry driving, Civil Service etc.)
18 – 24 year olds. Potential for being disproportionately impacted by Covid.
Digital Skills – Possible increase of customer requiring IT skill training.
Mental health – Coping with impact of Covid etc.
There is more information about the Dynamic Purchasing System here and the template for uploading information is here.
Social Enterprise Reset Week
SFS (Social Firms Scotland) and Senscot are launching Social Enterprise Reset Week! They will be using the social media hashtag #SocEntReset
Argyll TSI are proud to be supporting this initiative and will be attending many of the webinars scheduled to be able to keep you updated on current thoughts, consultations and funding streams becoming available.
SFS & Senscot will be connecting and engaging with frontline community-based social enterprises right across the country through a series of conversations to determine common experiences alongside the support and funding required over the medium to longer-term to secure their sustainable future.
The conversation kicked off on Friday 1st May with an all SEN Meeting and is being followed by a week-long series of SEN meetings and a twitter campaign encouraging all social enterprises across Scotland to engage – using the hashtag #SocEntReset
Social Enterprise Reset Week – beginning in earnest on the 11th May – will include opportunities for social enterprises to contribute via virtual local and thematic SEN meetings, focus groups and themed meetings where SEs can discuss challenges, issues and opportunities with peers. There are already some key themes emerging around preparing for continued social distancing measures and reconfiguring spaces and services.
There are a number of great sessions lined up including: Future funding and investment; The future of mental health & wellbeing needs; and Building on innovation developed during Covid 19. The calendar of events and booking details can be found here.
In particular, SFS invite you to take part in the following sessions
Employability SEN session: Wednesday 13th May @ 11.30m – 12.30pm General connect and catch up with SFS/Employability SEN members around their plans for the future and what support they will need
Adapting your business model in response to the impact of COVID19: Thursday 14th May @ 1.00 – 2.15pm
This session will consider how social enterprises are adapting their business model as a consequence of the pandemic. Scarf and Theatre Nemo will explain how they have evolved their model/services and P4P will explore the role collaboration and procurement can play as part of this process.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): the case for extending the Brexit transition period (Scottish Government Website) This document is about why an extension to the Brexit transition period is vital to our economic recovery from Coronavirus (COVID-19). In the referendum on membership of the European Union in June 2016 people in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain. The Scottish Government's position is well known: They have always vehemently opposed Brexit and see Scotland's future as an independent country and an EU member state. That has not changed See more ›
Continuous Professional Development
Better Work Network webinar: From Crisis to Opportunity – Redesigning the Workplace (Jul 1st, 10.30 - 12). You are invited to the first of the Better Work interactive webinars exploring the impact that the coronavirus outbreak is having on the labour market, and the ways that you can respond together to support employeees and employers to overcome the ongoing crisis while delivering better work for all.
News In Brief
Scottish Government's route map sets out a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions while still suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19). ‘COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’ gives practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time. It also highlights some of the things that won’t change for a while, including the continuing need for enhanced public health measures such as physical distancing.
Social Enterprise Funding
for details of current funding opportunities, click here