Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning

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The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning in Scotland is a cabinet position in the devolved Scottish Government. The position was created in 1999, with the advent of devolution and the institution of the Scottish Parliament, taking over some of the roles and functions of the former Scottish Office that existed prior to 1999.


The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) is responsible to the First Minister (Jack McConnell) and assists the Enterprise Minister, (Nicol Stephen) in the performance of his duties and fulfils the function of the Enterprise Minister in his absence.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning is responsible for economy, business and industry including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, trade and inward investment, further and higher education, science, corporate social responsibility, community business and co-operative development, European Structural Funds, energy, lifelong learning, training and skills.

Areas of responsibility

Responsibility breakdown


To work with the Enterprise Networks to help deliver the enterprise strategy.

As part of its commitment to fostering long-term, sustainable economic growth in Scotland, the Executive works with the Enterprise Networks to help deliver the enterprise strategy aimed at creating a smart, successful Scotland.

Enterprise Networks

To foster long-term, sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

The Executive is committed to fostering long-term, sustainable economic growth in Scotland. Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are the key economic development agencies in Scotland.

The Executive's document "A Smart, Successful Scotland" gives them their strategic direction.

At the local level Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and islands Enterprise operate through a network of Local Enterprise Companies (LECs). There are 12 in the Scottish Enterprise area and 10 in the Highlands and Islands Enterprise area.

Business in the Parliament

To work in partnership with business and establish an Annual Business Forum.

The Partnership Agreement commits the Scottish Government to work in partnership with business and establish an Annual Business Forum to develop ideas and maximise the drivers for growth.

The Executive jointly hosted a business conference with the Scottish Parliament on 22 and 23 April 2004.

The aim of this unique partnership event between the Executive and the Parliament was to engage Scottish business in continuing to grow Scotland's economy.

The Executive has considered the main issues raised at the Conference and in September 2004 produced a formal response to each of these issues. In July 2005, an updated response was published, to show policy development and implementation progress.

Convention of the Highlands and Islands

The Convention is a meeting between the Executive and its main partner agencies, represented by the Chairperson of each organisation.

It is currently held twice yearly, and is hosted by a different local authority each time with the location alternating between a mainland and an island.

The Convention is intended to strengthen co-ordination between member organisations, the Executive and other representative bodies to better inform the development and realisation of strategic economic, environmental, cultural and social justice objectives.

The Convention is unique to the Highlands and Islands because the level of remoteness, rurality and sparseness of population here is not mirrored elsewhere in Scotland.

It recognises the diversity and differing needs of Highland and Islands communities, and the distinct nature of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the area. The Convention's focus will be on delivering these strategic objectives to the long-term benefit of the people of the Highlands and Islands, and Scotland.

Education and Training

To ensure that everybody has access to learning opportunities that can help them achieve their full potential - giving children and young people the best possible start in life as they move from school to university and college or into the workforce, ensuring employability and adaptability throughout life.

Work based training

To provide Work-based training opportunities designed to improve individual's skills and qualifications for work.

Lifelong learning and post-school transition

To provide strategic policy direction to all stakeholders in Scotland and sets out the Executive's policies and targets for five years.

Social work and social care

To ensure social work and care support services are adequate for the 21st century.

See also

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