Cookies and Privacy  UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK


About the P&I Team Briefings Home | Responses | PFI Index | Policy Guide
Communications | Call Centre Pages




89. Fresh Talent Initiative Briefing


As part of UNISON's on going campaign opposing racism and promoting race and equality awareness, this briefing looks at the Scottish Executive's Fresh Talent Initiative and Race Equality Scheme. UNISON Scotland wholeheartedly welcomes both of these initiatives.

Fresh Talent

New Scots: Attracting Fresh Talent to Meet the Challenge of Growth

The First Minister launched the Fresh Talent Initiative in February 2003. It is aimed at attracting people from the UK and overseas to live and work in Scotland. As a nation that has traditionally exported people to all corners of the world, Scotland is keen to extend a welcome to skilled individuals who wish to come here to further their careers and quality of life.

A population in decline

Scotland's population is falling and it is declining at a faster rate than anywhere else in Europe. This decline is coupled with a significant shift in Scotland's age profile.

  • By 2009 Scotland's population will fall below the symbolic 5 million mark.
  • By 2027 there could be a quarter of a million fewer people of working age in Scotland.

Fresh Talent

The key aims of the Fresh Talent Initiative are:

  • Retaining home-grown talent within Scotland,
  • Encouraging Scots who have moved away to come back home,
  • And attracting some who are completely new to Scotland.

The Fresh Talent Initiative includes measures such as:

  • Help with work permits
  • Visa extensions for overseas students wishing to stay in Scotland after graduation
  • The establishment of a Relocation Advice Service by October 2004

The Relocation Advice Service will provide the following services for people and Companies:

  • Advice on applying for and processing visas and work permits, both for employers and prospective employees such as students;
  • Advice for entrepreneurs, including ethnic minority entrepreneurs, who want to set up a business and information on how to go about it
  • Advice on jobs schools universities, housing and transport for individuals and families considering moving to Scotland.

Scotland has benefited in the past from waves of migration, from Ireland, Italy, central Europe and Pakistan. The Executive is keen to maintain that diversity. The Executive has set up an implementation team to develop policy proposals on 'Fresh Talent' over the coming months.

A Warm Scottish Welcome

Unlike many parts of the UK, Scotland has much to offer people locating including:

  • Good and reasonably priced housing,
  • Good communications and transport systems
  • Easy access to the countryside and leisure facilities

Scotland has a unique selling point, we are known as one of the most friendly and educated peoples in the world. Through the Fresh Talent Initiative the Executive is encouraging skilled people from other countries to live and work in Scotland, as well as supporting efforts to retain native Scots who wish to begin, or to further, their careers in this country.

Working Together for Race Equality

The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, and the following inquiry set up by the Home Secretary in 1997, led to key changes in people's understanding of good race relations in Britain. In his response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report, the Home Secretary promised to strengthen race legislation. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which strengthens the Race Relations Act 1976, is a direct result of that commitment. The amended Race Relations Act gives most public authorities a general duty to promote race equality. The duty's aim is to make race equality a central part of the way public authorities work, by putting it at the centre of policy making, service delivery, and employment practice. Under the general duty, authorities must have 'due regard to the need to':

  • Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
  • Promote equal opportunities, and
  • Promote good relations between people from different racial groups.

The general duty is supported by a series of specific duties. The specific duties are not ends in themselves but provide the steps, methods or arrangements public authorities should follow to help them meet the general duty. One of the specific duties is to publish a race equality scheme (RES) by 31 May 2002.

(Please refer to P& I Team briefings 19 &33)

What is a race equality scheme (RES)?

A RES is effectively a strategy, and a timetabled and realistic action plan. It should summarise a public authority's approach to race equality and its corporate aims. It should also say how the authority plans to carry out each part of the specific duty, in other words, its arrangements for:

  • Assessing, consulting on, and monitoring its functions and policies for any adverse impact on promoting race equality;
  • Publishing the results;
  • Making sure the public have access to its services; and
  • Training staff.

The Scottish Executive's RES

The Scottish Executive published its Race Equality Scheme on 29th November 2002. Its purpose is to ensure that as an organisation, they are doing all they can to eliminate any

race discrimination and to promote race equality. The scheme was a legal requirement made under the Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) (Scotland) Order 2002. The Executive's scheme sets out how they will meet their statutory requirements. It shows that:

  • Policies and functions have been subject to a robust assessment of their impact on the promotion of race equality;
  • Consultation will be carried out in ways that avoid racial discrimination and will engage actively with minority ethnic people, communities and groups;
  • Monitoring of the impact of their functions and policies will be much more sensitive to their effect on race equality;
  • Publishing of the results of consultation, reviews and reports will reflect the relevance to the promotion of race equality;
  • Access to information and services provided by the Executive will become increasingly sensitive to the needs of ethnic minority people;
  • Training to staff and of those responsible for their training will be done in ways that support their commitment to promoting race equality
  • To produce an annual race equality scheme based on their Action Plans.

The Scottish Executive published their first Race Equality Scheme Annual Report in March 2004. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and the related Scottish Order encourages public authorities to carry out their functions and make their polices in ways that eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good race relations.

The Executive will be working closely with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Audit Scotland and Her Majesty's Inspectorates to ensure the effective development and implementation of robust and workable systems for assessing the impact and performance of duties placed on public authorities in Scotland.

Action for Branches

This briefing is intended to update members on these initiatives. As part of UNISON's commitment on opposing racism we will continue to publish anti-racist and race awareness materials.

Branches should also raise with their employers what practical action they are taking to support these initiatives.


Scottish Executive | Scottish Parliament | Briefings Home



Top of page

Action for Branches

This briefing is intended to update members on these initiatives. As part of UNISON's commitment on opposing racism we will continue to publish anti-racist and race awareness materials.

Branches should also raise with their employers what practical action they are taking to support these initiatives.