Scottish Government – Work Experience Programme with the Social Justice Strategy Unit

Hopes, fears and impressions

I love the idea of coming into Glasgow city centre to work, as it is very interesting compared to school which is often rather boring and repetitive.  The office was light, bright and open plan which isn’t what I was expecting it to be like as it is very modern.  Everyone in the office has been very welcoming and willing to help or answer any questions or queries that I had.  Most of my friends were working in shops and schools and didn’t know what they were going to do whilst on their work experience placement.  As I was told in advance what my work timetable for the week would be I was less stressed about going to my work experience placement.

Through my work experience I hope to gain an understanding of how the Scottish Government works.  I think the initial plan for the week is good as it is a varied workload and it will give me a varied insight into the working life of a civil servant.  The part of my schedule that I am most looking forward to is Thursday as I am traveling to parliament to watch First Ministers Questions (FMQ).  I am looking forward to this as I love watching political debates and speeches as they are engaging and sometimes rather amusing.  My favourite part of my first day was talking to Karen about what the Scottish Government does and how the interact with government ministers.

Tuesday working and beginning to settle

On Tuesday I did some research for Karen and went to seminar on ‘family friendly working’ which aimed to give workers more flexible hours of work allowing them to spend more time with their family.  In the seminar there were employers from many businesses who were interested in family friendly working schemes.  The seminar wasn’t the most interesting however, it highlighted a key issue in society which is the work life balance.  The aim of the seminar was to show employers how they could improve employees work life.  After the seminar I continued some research for a ministers briefing which Karen had asked me to do, which isn’t the easiest thing to do as all the information sources contradict each other.  After this I attended their team meeting where they discussed what the aims for the months and weeks ahead were and how they were going to achieve them, although half of the graphs and tables representing information about poverty in Scotland were rather confusing.

Once the meeting had finished I went to meet the Rent Services department and they told me about all the different work that they under take on a daily basis. Rent Services deal with issues such as private rental accommodation by dealing with rogue landlords and survey properties and give them a rental  estimate of how much a property should rent for based on the number of bedrooms and living rooms; the aim of this is to avoid people being overcharged for a property.  I learned that they also have the power to stop a landlord from renting out a property if it is not fit for human inhabitancy and therefore they will condemn the property meaning that it cannot be rented out until the owner completes the necessary repairs.  Over all I feel that Tuesday has be a more relaxed day and I feel that I have begun to settle in a bit more  as I have been introduced to more people in the office and I am more aware of the work that I will have to do whilst my work placement.

Wednesday hump day with a lot of speed bumps

On Wednesday morning I helped Karen and Andrew with their Fairer Scotland presentation that they had created for pupils form John Paul Academy to answer questions that they had asked as part of their assignment.  When they ran through the presentation there were a couple of things that needed further explanation, but overall the presentation was gauged at a correct level of language and wasn’t too technical.

Afterwards I spoke to Matthew about Modern Apprenticeships (MA) with the Scottish government.  He told me about how he himself was granted a MA placement, and what he is required to do as part of that placement.  I then asked him if you had to have any exam passes to which the answer was no; this was good news as I was asking on behalf of my little brother who has dyscalculia (dyslexia with numbers),  as he would possibly be interested in this sort of job when he is older as he finds it very hard at school and wouldn’t be able to go to university.  After lunch Karen helped me create a CV so that if I look for a part time job then I would have a CV that would stand out from the rest.

After this I met with Donna who is a member of the Regeneration Unit.  I learned that the Regeneration Unit is very important and plays a vital role in eradicating poverty and in Scotland by helping communities take control of local buildings and working with them to help people from deprived backgrounds in their community.  I learned about all the work that is being undertaken to help deprived areas and communities and the different types of funding and government grants that are available to people to help their communities flourish.  I also learned about the role that the regeneration team played in the re-gentrification of the East End of Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games and some of the work that is still going on as part of the Commonwealth Legacy.

For the rest of the afternoon I sat with Andrew and Karen whilst they delivered their presentation on the Fairer Scotland project, to the pupils of John Paul Academy and they answered any questions which the pupils had about the government’s strategy to tackling child poverty.  Overall I feel that Wednesday was a rather good day as I didn’t have to do much work compared to Tuesday.

Thursday – non-stop learning

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On Thursday morning Shona took me on a very early train to Edinburgh to meet the ‘climate change’ team at the government’s Victoria Quay office.  Whilst I was there I met Gavin who is a member the Scottish Governments climate change unit.  He told me about all the important work that Scotland is undertaking in order to lower its emissions in the effort to become a carbon neutral economy.  During our meeting I learned about ways in which First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and her government will do in order to tackle climate change and stop the threat global warming poses.  He was very interested in the ways in which my school sources its water and heating as he didn’t know of schools which were doing these things in order to have a lower carbon footprint.  I also learned about the new offshore wind farms that are planned to be instated off the coast of Scotland and the technology and design of the turbines which will allow the government  to undertake this ambitious project.

After this we travelled to the Scottish Parliament to watch FMQ which was very interesting as I got to see all the politicians and watch them quiz the first minister who tried to dodge questions. My one complaint about the experience would be that the seats were wooden and didn’t have any padding which was rather uncomfortable.  After FMQ we walked to Saint Andrews house to meet the elections team, although I think Shona almost died as her short cut her phone told her about involved a massive hill.  When we eventually reached Saint Andrews house I met Rebecca who is a member of the elections team in the Scottish Government.  When we went in she told me about all the work that the elections team does and how they prepare for elections or referenda.  She told me about the role that her team is playing in the upcoming  council elections and their new electronic system which they have developed to count the votes and the breaking point of the system which is 200,000 votes; but it isn’t expected that it will be required to count that number of votes as council elections usually have a low turnout rate.  Overall I think that Thursday was by far the most exciting and interesting days I loved visiting the parliament and watching FMQ.

Finally Friday

On Friday I have finished at least half of my CV and looked over my week in the Scottish Government.  I will have completed this blog  and my school work experience booklet by the end of today.  After finishing some more of my CV I had a meeting with the employability for young people division. When I met Paul he started by telling me about what the employability for young people unit does.  I learned that his department deal with schemes such as the modern and foundation apprenticeships, he also told me about Skills Development Scotland and the careers advisers that work for them.  He also told me about the stigmas attached to apprenticeships and how they are tackling these.  I also learned that the number of school aged pupils staying on till 5th & 6th year is increasing which is a positive thing as it means that more people are going on to university and college therefore going on to get better jobs when they are older.

Looking back and looking forward

Throughout my week in the Scottish Government I have learned a lot about the structure of government and the work that goes on behind the scenes to help the government function.  By far the best part of my week was going to FMQ as I love watching debates and political question time.  I will be sad to leave the government as it has been so much fun and I have learned a lot and I would highly recommend it for other people looking to do work experience in politics and current affairs.

Consultation on ending Child Poverty

Key dates – Monday 8 August to Friday 30 September

This consultation sets our proposals for a Child Poverty Bill for Scotland that will:

o Enshrine in legislation the Scottish Government’s ambition to eradicate child poverty.

o Place a duty on Scottish Ministers to publish a Child Poverty Delivery Plan every 5 years, and to report on that Plan annually.

o Set statutory income targets.

Links

News release: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Consultation-on-ending-child-poverty-284c.aspx

To reply to the consultation please use this linkhttps://consult.scotland.gov.uk/social-justice/consultation-on-a-child-poverty-bill-for-scotland

The Fantastic Four of Southcraig Campus

An inspirational chat with four awesome students…..truly the ’Fantastic Four’.

On the 10th November I had the honour of meeting four remarkable young adults at Southcraig Campus, Ayr. Their teacher, Yvonne, had written to the Fairer Scotland Team [via the mailbox!] inviting me to talk with the fantastic pupils of Southcraig campus, who had something to say about a ‘Fairer Scotland by 2030’.

The students of Southcraig are all on the autism spectrum and often have very complex additional and/or supporting needs. There are 97 students, from pre-school to 19 years-of-age, with a comparable number of teachers on-hand to support through their school years.

Some of the students need one-one support. The four students I met with – Harley, Rory, Louis and Zoe – were in the senior phase of their schooling, aged between 15 and 19. My fantastic four, all of whom have additional and complex needs in everyday life and learning.

We started with an explanation of the Fairer Scotland initiative and discussed how it was important to have our say in this. We then focused on what fair and unfair mean, using scenarios on cards to decide if a situation was fair or unfair.

The four picked 6 topics that were of most importance to them. Over a five week period they discussed the topics and articulated their thoughts of ’what mattered to them?’ on a poster and a video.

What was different?
Through the entire Fairer Scotland journey – meeting dozens of communities and organisations – the team often returned to a central issue. That of Social inequality. This visit was no different.

What was different was the way the four described their vision for the future, designing their own posters to express what they believed Scotland would look like. In fact, what a fairer country looks like.

Not only did they design an amazing poster, but they also had the courage to stand up and speak about their ideal world as part of an ‘SVQ N2 Talking and Listening’ class award. They delivered their visions with confidence and pride – in front of the camera (something that a lot of people would find too intimidating to even contemplate).

What mattered to them?
Some of the common elements central to the Fairer Scotland conversation include areas like housing, welfare reform, health and income and employment. However, Harley, Rory, Louis and Zoe’s focused on:

  • Being safe
  • Money
  • Being healthy
  • Jobs
  • Being Equal and
  • Being included.

The leading light for the Fantastic Four was their wonderful teacher, Yvonne Cameron. From the outset, Yvonne was on-hand to help them with their conversation, ensuring the students said what they wanted to say.

“We started with an explanation of the Fairer Scotland initiative and discussed how it was important to have our say in this. We then focused on what fair and unfair mean, using scenarios on cards to decide if a situation was fair or unfair.

We moved on to discuss what is important to young people in a Fairer Scotland. Each week we looked at a different aspect eg. money, jobs, equality, good health, being safe, being valued and most importantly for our young people, inclusion. We discussed this fully and then videoed each individual pupil’s input. During the Scottish Government visit we looked at all of the contributions and challenged our young people to narrow their suggestions down to the most important item to them under each heading.

This has been a really interesting and enlightening project. I have known these four young people for several years and through this class I know a lot more about what is important to them.”

Sure enough, all four students had a lot to say about the kind of Scotland we all want to see.

Zoe’s Vision
Zoe would like to see:

  • Being equal – people who sign should get the same chances
  • Money – families should have enough so that poor people can get home
  • Being healthy – looking after the environment keeps us healthy
  • Being included – people should play together and not leave anybody out
  • Jobs – jobs should have good wages
  • Being safe – tell the police if you are getting bullied. If you don’t, they can’t help you.
15-year-old girl standing next to a poster of how he sees a 'Fairer Scotland' by 2030.
15-year-old Zoe just wants “To learn skills to go to work”.

Zoe is interested in drama and is a very confident and articulated speaker. She said she was nervous, but you would never have known. She was brilliant. Zoe is the youngest of the group and explained that she often feels safer at home – just now, she couldn’t think about being on her own.

Rory’s Vision
Rory would like to see:

  • Being equal – people in wheelchairs should get the same chances
  • Money – more money to live on my own and money to go to college
  • Being healthy – going to the dentist gives me healthy teeth
  • Being included – ramps for buildings
  • Jobs – to learn skills to go to work
  • Being safe – hospitals keep us safe.
A lad standing next to a poster of how he sees a 'Fairer Scotland' by 2030.
Rory would like to see “People in wheelchairs should get the same chances.”

Rory would like to be able to live on his own one day. He was very shy, but delivered his story very well, and was proud that he done it. We all were. Rory was very interested in ensuring he had the opportunity to speak up for his friends in school. He felt many of them would not feel confident speaking out about the issues and difficulties they face, on a day-to-day basis. He explained that many of them felt they simply didn’t have the same chances as others, because they were in a wheelchair. It was a very admirable and thoughtful gesture, and I was taken back by Rory’s selflessness in thinking about his fellow students.

Harley’s Story
Harley – AKA ‘Miss Chatterbox’ – was on the ball from the outset, and a fantastic host. Harley wanted to see:

  • Being equal – boys and girls have the same chances
  • Money – more money for people to buy food
  • Being healthy – opportunities to go to free dancing and exercise classes keeps us healthy
  • Being included – everybody should have the chance to play
  • Jobs – work experience like “work out” will help me get a job
  • Being safe – I don’t want to live on my own. I want to stay with my mum and dad. They keep me safe.
A girl standing next to a poster of how he sees a 'Fairer Scotland' by 2030.
15-year-old Harley wants “Opportunities to go to free dancing and exercise classes keeps us healthy.”

Harley’s passion is dancing and exercise and she often accompanies her sister, a dance teacher, at classes. She loves keeping fit and being a social butterfly. Harley is the oldest of the group and it was clear that she really cares for her fellow students and the teachers. She really does have a heart of gold.

Louis’s Story

17-year-old lad standing next to a poster of how he sees a 'Fairer Scotland' by 2030.
17-year-old Louis just wants “People should treat me the age I am”.

Louis is a tall, strong, strapping lad who can’t wait to live on his own. All he wants is to be treated as an adult, and the thriving 17-year-old he is – not as a child. Louis is passionate about web access for all, so he can learn and gather advice on things that he is interested in.

  • Being equal – everyone should have access to Youtube
  • Money – we need more money in schools to buy things for leisure time and fun
  • Being healthy – getting the chance to eat cheap healthy food and drink bottled water
  • Being included – people should treat me the age I am
  • Jobs – get the chance to go to work
  • Being safe – watch out for animals. Keep animals safe. I don’t want to see animals run over.

Memories
My Fantastic Four were uber excited to have us along as it gave them the chance to have their voices heard by the Scottish Government. They put a lot of time and effort into their projects and were delighted that they could showcase them for us.

From the outset of the Fairer Scotland conversation, the Scottish Government wanted to engage with and encourage people across Scotland – in particular those with lived experiences of inequalities and who don’t normally get the chance to discuss the things that are important to them.

Harley, Rory, Louis and Zoe certainly did that – and in the most dynamic, interesting and fun way. It really was a truly memorable experience.

What next?
The Fairer Scotland conversation is on-going. We want to make sure we continue to engage with those who have helped us through this journey so far. Now, we plan to delve a bit deeper into “what’s changed?” and “what still has to be done?“.

My Fantastic Four are going to help me kick start this next chapter, and I’ll make sure they are very much part of this adventure. ‘Real Lives, Real People’.

Watch this space.

More information
Southcraig Campus, Ayr
Southcraig Campus, Ayr, is a Primary and secondary special school for pupils with additional support needs.

Autistic Spectrum
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.

Our Fairer Scotland Planning Event – Midlothian

On Wednesday 14th October a group of 24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Newbattle College, Dalkeith, for our third Fairer Scotland Planning Event.
On Wednesday 14th October a group of 24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Newbattle College, Dalkeith, for our third Fairer Scotland Planning Event.
On Wednesday 14th October a group of 24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Newbattle College, Dalkeith, for our third Fairer Scotland Planning Event.

The goal? To discuss and scrutinise ways in which they could plan together to create a Fairer Scotland by 2030.

Why not browse our dialogue application and comment on the ideas raised in Dalkeith directly? You can also share your own ideas!
Why not browse our dialogue application and comment on the ideas raised in Dalkeith directly? You can also share your own ideas!

fairerscotland – the story so far
The Fairer Scotland discussion – launched in June – has already engaged with a broad mix of people, right across the country, to prioritise practical steps that could be taken to help create a fairer country.

These Listening Events have been taking place across the length and breadth of the nation. The feedback has been superb, and we’ve heard from a wide range of people.

These conversations provided a wealth of ideas to take forward into more focused discussions. Now, armed with these ideas, we’re shaping them into a set of recommendations via our new focused Planning Events.

Crucially, the real architects of change here are you – the citizens of Scotland.

By offering people a say in what a Fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and working together, we intend on making the vision for a Fairer Scotland a reality. Our Midlothian event is the third of a series of eight Planning Events across Scotland which will do this.

“These planning events are a new and different way of doing government. Rather than writing a long policy document and asking people to read and comment on it, we want to create our policy ideas for a Fairer Scotland together with the people of Scotland. We want to be an open and accessible government and that is why we are asking people, up and down the country, to work with us to create a set of recommendations to bring the country’s ideas for a fairer Scotland to life.”
(Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice)

Themes
Our panel considered eight key areas of policy, and what changes might be made for the betterment of the nation.

These included:

  • Income and Employment
  • Welfare
  • Governance and Participation
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Equality
  • People and Communities
  • Children and Young People

The Midlothian mind-set
On the back of our last event in Inverness, we had some great [and new] ideas from our Midlothian panel. We’ve attached these ideas to this post [below] to give you an overview of the scope and scale of the discussion thus far.

The Midlothian Event provided us with some fresh ideas and suggestions to carry forward into the next planning event, including:

  • The desire to see a reform of the tax system
  • The call to include parenting / caring in the GDP
  • Ensuring community petitions carry weight and influence
  • Personal health budgets for patients
  • Working to simply the process of house building
  • Ensuring community assets are owned by the community
  • Encouraging community led development
  • Free, universal childcare for all

By offering people a say in what a Fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and working together, we intend on making the vision for a Fairer Scotland a reality.
By offering people a say in what a Fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and working together, we intend on making the vision for a Fairer Scotland a reality.
Share your own ideas!
But the conversation doesn’t stop there! The suggestions from Midlothian have been shared on our dialogue application and you can browse and comment on these ideas directly. Once you arrive at the site, registration is quick and simple.

Thereafter you can:

  • Comment on the ideas raised so far
  • Create and share your own ideas.

Perhaps you disagree with some of the ideas raised? Or maybe you have a better suggestion? There’s lots of room for new ideas across our eight themes [and beyond] so go on – get involved!

What next?
We’ve had four further Planning events since Midlothian – in Dumfries, Stornoway, Dundee and Inverclyde. We’ll publishing a post or two covering those [brilliant] events in due course. However, our next Planning Event takes place next Tuesday (17th November) in Glasgow.

We look forward to continuing the conversation then! Our events page lists all the remaining Planning Events. We hope you can join us at one of them.

If not, do not fret, there are lots of other ways to get involved.

Community empowerment proved a big issue at our Midlothian Planning Event.
Community empowerment proved a big issue at our Midlothian Planning Event.

In the longer term, the priorities and ideas that come from our Planning Events will feed into a final Citizen Forum in December.

The Forum will host a broadly representative audience made up of people from across the country who will work with policy makers, experts, and political representatives to finalise a series of recommendations.


Other information
Website, Fairer Scotland dialogue application
Visit the dialogue application to view some of the great ideas already submitted in the Fairer Scotland conversation! You can comment on these ideas, and share some of your own. Go on, get involved – towards a Fairer Scotland.

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Income and Employment priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Welfare priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Governance and Participation priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Health priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Housing priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Equality priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event People and Communities priorities

Image, Midlothian Planning Event Children and Young People priorities

Our Fairer Scotland Planning Event – Inverness

24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Inverness Leisure Centre for our second Fairer Scotland Planning Event.
24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Inverness Leisure Centre for our second Fairer Scotland Planning Event.

On Wednesday 7th October a group of 24 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at the Inverness Leisure Centre for our second Fairer Scotland Planning Event.

The goal? To discuss and scrutinise ways in which they could plan together to create a Fairer Scotland by 2030.

Why not browse our dialogue application and comment on the ideas raised in Inverness directly? You can also share your own ideas!
Why not browse our dialogue application and comment on the ideas raised in Inverness directly? You can also share your own ideas!

#fairerscotland – the story so far
The Fairer Scotland discussion – launched in June – has already engaged with a broad mix of people, right across the country, to prioritise practical steps that could be taken to help create a fairer country.

These Listening Events have been taking place across the length and breadth of the nation. The feedback has been superb, and we’ve heard from a wide range of people.

These conversations provided a wealth of ideas to take forward into more focused discussions. Now, armed with these ideas, we’re shaping them into a set of recommendations via our new focused Planning Events.

Crucially, the real architects of change here are you – the citizens of Scotland.
By offering people a say in what a Fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and working together, we intend on making the vision for a Fairer Scotland a reality. Our Inverness event is the second of a series of eight Planning Events across Scotland which will do this.

“These planning events are a new and different way of doing government. Rather than writing a long policy document and asking people to read and comment on it, we want to create our policy ideas for a Fairer Scotland together with the people of Scotland. We want to be an open and accessible government and that is why we are asking people, up and down the country, to work with us to create a set of recommendations to bring the country’s ideas for a fairer Scotland to life.”
(Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice)

Themes
Our panel considered eight key areas of policy, and what changes might be made for the betterment of the nation. These included:

Land reform proved a big issue at our Inverness Planning Event.
Land reform proved a big issue at our Inverness Planning Event.
  • Income and Employment
  • Welfare
  • Governance and Participation
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Equality
  • People and Communities
  • Children and Young People

Inverness ideas!
On the back of September’s Kilmarnock event, the ideas coming from our Inverness panel were excellent. We’ve attached these ideas to this post [below] to give you an overview of the scope and scale of the discussion thus far.

The Inverness Event provided us with some new ideas, including issues that would appear to be common to rural life in Scotland, for example:

  • The overwhelming case for significant land reform in Scotland
  • A call for help with start-up businesses, to create jobs and wealth for the area
  • When are we going to tackle fuel poverty?
  • The need to improve rural transport links
  • Digital possibilities for health and wellbeing in remote areas
  • The importance of choice in renting property or buying [for all]
  • Forcing companies to publish the gender pay gap!
  • A desire to provide better support for parents and carers.

Share your own ideas!
But the conversation doesn’t stop there! The suggestions from Inverness have been shared on our dialogue application and you can browse and comment on these ideas directly. Once you arrive at the site, registration is quick and simple.

Thereafter you can:

  • Comment on the ideas raised so far
  • Create and share your own ideas.

Perhaps you disagree with some of the ideas raised? Or maybe you have a better suggestion? There’s lots of room for new ideas across our eight themes [and beyond] so go on – get involved!

Our Inverness group considered eight key areas of policy, and what changes might be made for the betterment of the nation.
Our Inverness group considered eight key areas of policy, and what changes might be made for the betterment of the nation.

What next?
We’ve had three further Planning events since Inverness – in Dalkeith, Dumfries and Stornaway. We’ll publishing a post or two covering those [brilliant] events in due course. However, our next Planning Event takes place next Thursday (5th November) in Dundee.

We look forward to continuing the conversation then! Our events page lists all the remaining Planning Events. We hope you can join us at one of them.

If not, do not fret, there are lots of other ways to get involved.

In the longer term, the priorities and ideas that come from our Planning Events will feed into a final Citizen Forum in December.

The Forum will host a broadly representative audience made up of people from across the country who will work with policy makers, experts, and political representatives to finalise a series of recommendations.


Other information

Website, Fairer Scotland dialogue application
Visit the dialogue application to view some of the great ideas already submitted in the Fairer Scotland conversation! You can comment on these ideas, and share some of your own. Go on, get involved – towards a Fairer Scotland.

Image, Inverness Planning Event Income and Employment priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Welfare priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Governance and Participation priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Health priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Housing priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Equality priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event People and Communities priorities

Image, Inverness Planning Event Children and Young People priorities

Our Fairer Scotland Planning Event – Kilmarnock

On Wednesday 29th September a group of 35 people from the local area joined Scottish Government staff at The Grand Hall, Kilmarnock, to discuss and scrutinise ways in which they could plan together to create a Fairer Scotland by 2030.

#fairerscotland – the story so far
The Fairer Scotland discussion – launched in July – has already engaged with a broad mix of people, right across the country, to prioritise practical steps that could be taken to help create a fairer country.

These Listening Events have been taking place across the length and breadth of the nation. The feedback has been superb, and we’ve heard from a wide range of people.


These conversations provided a wealth of ideas to take forward into more focused discussions. Now, armed with these ideas, we’re shaping them into a set of recommendations via our new focused Planning Events.

Crucially, the real architects of change here are you – the citizens of Scotland.

By offering people a say in what a Fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and working together, we intend on making the vision for a Fairer Scotland a reality. Our Kilmarnock event is the first of a series of eight Planning Events across Scotland which will do this.

“These planning events are a new and different way of doing government. Rather than writing a long policy document and asking people to read and comment on it, we want to create our policy ideas for a Fairer Scotland together with the people of Scotland. We want to be an open and accessible government and that is why we are asking people, up and down the country, to work with us to create a set of recommendations to bring the country’s ideas for a fairer Scotland to life.”
(Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice)

Themes
Our panel considered eight key areas of policy, and what changes might be made for the betterment of the nation. These included:

  • Income and Employment
  • Welfare
  • Governance and Participation
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Equality
  • People and Communities
  • Children and Young People

Share your own ideas!
The feedback and ideas people created by the Kilmarnock event were fantastic. We’ve attached these ideas to this post [below] to give you an idea of the scope and scale of the discussion thus far.

But the conversation doesn’t stop there! The suggestions from Kilmarnock have been shared on our dialogue application and you can browse and comment on these ideas directly. Once you arrive at the site, registration is quick and simple.

Thereafter you can:

– Comment on the ideas raised so far
– Create and share your own ideas.

Perhaps you disagree with some of the ideas raised? Or perhaps you have a better suggestion? There’s lots of room for new ideas across our eight themes [and beyond] so go on – get involved!


What next?
Our next Planning Event takes place in Inverness on the 7th October. We look forward to continuing the conversation then! Our events page lists all the remaining Planning Events. We hope you can join us at one of them! If not, do not fret, there are lots of other ways to get involved.

In the longer term, the priorities and ideas that come from our Planning Events will feed into a final Citizen Forum in December.

The Forum will host a broadly representative audience made up of people from across the country who will work with policy makers, experts, and political representatives to finalise a series of recommendations.


Other information

Website, Fairer Scotland dialogue application
Visit the dialogue application to view some of the great ideas already submitted in the Fairer Scotland conversation! You can comment on these ideas, and share some of your own. Go on, get involved – towards a Fairer Scotland.

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Income and Employment priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Welfare priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Governance and Participation priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Health priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Housing priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Equality priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event People and Communities priorities

Image, Kilmarnock Planning Event Children and Young People priorities

We are listening…

Well, the Fairer Scotland campaign is well and truly underway! It’s been a dynamic conversation thus far, and the feedback from the past few months as to what you believe would help create a fairer, more prosperous Scotland by 2030 has been illuminating.

Thick and fast
There are various ways to have your say on the kind of country you want Scotland to be.

This feedback has been varied, and often thought provoking.

And – as good as your word – many of you have already taken to our Twitter and Facebook accounts to let us know what you think. Some of you have also been sending in ideas and reports through the contact form on our blog and via email. We’ve even had a few ideas delivered by the postman!

In fact, the number of visitors to Fairer Scotland social media platforms is already edging over 10,000, while we’ve reached out to some 76,000 personal Facebook feeds.

Fairer Scotland conversation
Over 1000 people from voluntary groups, charities and businesses have taken part in a summer of Fairer Scotland public events.

This feedback on our social channels has prompted [encouraged!] us to add another channel to our social mix – Instagram. You can find details on how to contribute to our new Instagram account further down this page.

Crucially, next to all this digital activity, over 1000 people from voluntary groups, charities and businesses have taken part in a summer of Fairer Scotland public events, with many more participating in locally organised discussions throughout the country.

What you’ve had to say
Throughout the opening months of the Fairer Scotland project, we’ve tried to do one thing more than anything else – to listen.

To you – your thoughts, feelings and suggestions – what works, as well as the issues you think impact individuals, communities and indeed the country as a whole.

This feedback has been varied, and often thought provoking.

In assessing what you have to say, it was fascinating to see many of your ideas fall into some common themes. While the conversation was very broad, many of you honed into specific areas.

Some of the more prominent themes and issues emerging from phase 1 included:

Instagram
Get involved! Download the Instagram app and send your 15-sec video clips to #fairerscotland
  • Pay and conditions
  • More power for communities
  • Support for carers
  • Affordable and available housing
  • A fairer welfare system
  • Childcare
  • Community spirit
  • Equality of opportunity

Themes to carry us forward
Over the autumn we will of course continue to listen to your ideas and suggestions as to how to create a Fairer Scotland.

As part of that, we are running a series of planning events with members of the public up and down the country over the Autumn. These aim to explore in more depth some of the issues you have been raising.

Places are available for these events and details of how you can register are further down the page.

The suggested themes and related issues that we propose to cover through the events include:

Theme Related issues
1. Income and Employment – pay, including living/minimum wage
– working conditions e.g. zero hours contracts
– employment support and access to jobs
2. Welfare – fairness of the welfare system
– benefit administration
3. Governance – community empowerment
– devolution – e.g. to local authorities and community councils
– voting and the process of Government
4. Health – support for carers
– service delivery – service integration
– quality of care
5. Housing – availability – housing and social housing
– affordability e.g. rent levels
– standards
6. Equality – discrimination
– equality of opportunity
– equality for particular groups
7. People and communities – attitudes, e.g. respect and trust
– community values, e.g. neighbourliness and community spirit
– participation, e.g. volunteering
8. Children and Young People – engagement of young people
– childcare provision
– support services for young people

We would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think these are the most interesting, important areas we should be discussing further, as we carry on the conversation.

If you feel we’re missing something, or that we need to give less or more emphasis to any of these areas, please contact us and let us know.

Cairn
The Fairer Scotland conversation – no stone unturned!

To everyone who has participated in the Fairer Scotland conversation, whether online or through one of the many nationwide events – thank you. Assessing the thoughts and feelings of the citizens of Scotland has been [and is] a privilege.

And yet the conversation is still young. Why not join us?


More information
Website, Fairer Scotland Table of events
You can get involved by attending one of the deliberative events happening across the country. Why not sign up for one? Details can be found on this events table.

Website, Fairer Scotland Get in touch!
This page provides further details on how to get involved with the Fairer Scotland conversation. Contributing is easy. Let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter, send us a short Instagram video clip or picture – or why not consider writing a blog post to go on our website?

Website, Fairer Scotland Send us your Instagram clips and pics!
The free Instagram app, which is available for download for both iPhone and Android based devices, allows you to capture captivating images and short video clips [of no more than 15-seconds] with your phone. You can then share your images or video with other users across the globe using hash-tags, in a similar way to Twitter. Our hash tag is #fairerscotland – for obvious reasons!