We were pleased to welcome Anas Sarwar to our Boardroom recently to enjoy some lunch and to meet with our regular group of Chairs and Non Executives who were keen to hear his thoughts on how a possible future Labour government would engage with business and the economy.
This is a group which came together during the pandemic under FWB’s leadership and which met regularly on zoom to discuss the issues facing our organisations (of which there were many!). During this time it proved to be a fantastic forum for sharing views, thoughts and best practice as we plotted our way through uncharted waters. Now it is a great way for peers to periodically catch up and discuss topics of the moment. The group last week represented well over 100 organisations in Scotland and beyond, ranging from PLCs, private & family-owned companies and not-for-profit organisations across most sectors of the economy. Importantly, they also represent many tens of thousands of employees.
We were interested by Anas’s focus on the key topics of the Green Transition, Tech & Financial Services, and also Tourism & “Brand Scotland”. He had an encouraging focus on what a genuine partnership between Business and Government could bring to delivering growth and prosperity. Amongst a number of other topics, we also had a long discussion about delivering 21st-century digital education and a greater need for alignment between the private sector and universities. Indeed, there was a feeling in the room that education had slipped down the ranking of issues that people care about and that it needs to be right back on the agenda. The strong feeling was that we need to create our own supply chain of talent within the country as part of a long-term solution.
Thanks Anas for coming to talk to us, to our own Willie Finlayson for chairing the session, to our very good friend Bob Brannan for helping to arrange and to our guests for attending.