In the 2015 Scotland Economic Strategy, the Scottish Government identified six ‘growth sectors’ where the country has a distinct comparative advantage, namely: creative industries; energy; financial & business services; food & drink; life sciences; and sustainable tourism.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned ekosgen in June 2014 to undertake a scoping exercise to review the growth sector definitions and identify any relevant datasets and indicators that could be used to measure the scale of the sectors in the region and their contribution to the Scottish economy. A Sector Definition Paper and a Growth Sector Measurement Framework were produced at this stage.
ekosgen was then retained by HIE in December 2014 to undertake the first stage of a baselining study for the six growth sectors in the HIE region. The SIC-based sector definitions and a number of key datasets, such as BRES, IDBR and SABS, were used to provide statistics on employment, businesses, GVA and labour costs for each sector. In addition, further data were provided by the Scottish Government upon request in order to give an accurate breakdown of sector activity by geography and sub-sector.