Labour Market Strategy

Boosting competitiveness and tackling inequality.

Remaining part of the EU will help protect workers’ rights and boost jobs, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said today as he launched Scotland’s new Labour Market Strategy.

Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy is a top priority for the Scottish Government and has been delivered within the first 100 days of the new Government. The Strategy sets out how the Government will put fairness at the heart of its drive to develop a skilled workforce capable of meeting future economic demands.

With substantial funding already in place, Mr Hepburn confirmed a further £820,000 of new investment will help further embed equality in the work place. This is part of the Government’s on-going efforts to support business and create good quality jobs paying at least the living wage.

Unveiling the strategy the during a visit to Scottish Gas’s Training Academy in Hamilton, Mr Hepburn said;

“The labour market is the beating heart of our economy and its future performance is fundamental to our prosperity and success. This is why we have published a new Labour market strategy within the first 100 days of this Government, to ensure our support is tailored to meet economic conditions.

“Creating a fairer society is not just a desirable goal in itself, but is essential to the sustained, long-term prosperity of the Scottish economy. As an integral part of our Economic Strategy, today’s Labour Market Strategy outlines in more detail how our inclusive approach to the labour market will drive economic growth.

“We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to a different and more inclusive approach to our economy. An approach that is supported by a growing body of evidence, which shows that countries with more equal societies typically enjoy stronger and more sustainable growth. That is why we are focused on working with employers and unions to create more, better paid, quality jobs that work for the individual in terms of skills, security and future prospects.

“Scotland’s labour market is fundamentally strong, but maintaining the rights and protections workers enjoy under the EU is of vital importance to delivering our vision for the labour market. Scotland delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain, and given that strong support, we have committed as a priority to exploring all options to protect Scotland’s relations with the EU – both to protect workers’ rights and boost jobs and growth.

Mr Hepburn continued:

“I would like to thank Centrica for their commitment as a progressive forward thinking company on becoming a Scottish Business Pledge signatory and welcome your leadership in this area. I’m pleased that the Pledge is becoming a badge of pride for Scottish businesses, sending a clear signal to employees, customers, and the wider community that companies acknowledge their contribution to creating a fairer society.”

Jane Wood, Managing Director of Business in the Community Scotland said:

“A strong and fair labour market is a critical pre-condition for the achievement of sustained and inclusive growth, which is a hallmark of a successful business. As the organisation which leads the responsible business agenda and with 1:5 of all employees being employed by our business membership we welcome Scottish Government's creation of a Labour Market Strategy. This is a huge step forward and one which shows Scotland as leading the way globally in its commitment to responsible business. We are particularly pleased that the Labour Market Strategy describes a commitment which is shared by our members and with Scottish Government to create a Scottish National Action Plan for Responsible Business. This is a unique collaboration in which businesses will work together and with government to set the agenda for more inclusive growth for business and society.”

Anne Douglas, co-chair of the Fair Work Convention said:

“I am pleased to welcome this Labour Market Strategy from the Scottish Government and in particular, I am pleased to see their continuing commitment to the work of the Fair Work Convention. The Fair Work Framework, which we published earlier this year, showed the important role Fair work has to play in delivering clear benefits, not only for individuals but also for businesses through higher productivity, performance and innovation. These concepts are central to this strategy and I look forward to building on these themes as the Convention enters the next phase of its work.”

Paul Haines, Director of Regional Public Affairs and Policy at Centrica, said:

“Our people are vital to the on-going success of our business – that’s why we are very pleased to sign up to the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge.

“Whether it’s our Scottish Gas engineers, our colleagues in contact centres or in our exploration and production teams, everyone at Centrica shares the aims of the pledge. We already pay our people the Living Wage, we’re investing in the skills of young people and playing a role in the communities we serve. After signing the pledge, we now look forward to working with the government to support business growth across Scotland.”

Notes to editors

Commitments include;

• Fully endorse the Fair Work framework, produced by the Fair Work Convention
• Up to £500k to support the work of the Fair Work Convention
• Establish a Strategic Labour Market Group which will work alongside the independent Fair Work Convention, to advise Ministers on future developments in the labour market.
• Work through the Enterprise and Skills Review to ensure our delivery bodies are best positioned to support inclusive growth
• Use of new powers to better align employability support in Scotland
• £200k to support for the National Action Plan for Responsible business
• £110k for the Fit Work Project
• £10k to sponsor of the Fair Work Employer of the year award
• The development of a Workplace Equality Fund
• Continued investment in sustainable physical and digital infrastructure
• Supporting sectors and companies to exploit opportunities that boost growth and export.

The strategy is available here:


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