Helping people into good sustainable jobs will improve their life chances and in turn improve the employability and life chances of their children and generations to come.
A strong and fair labour market is vital to achieve sustained and inclusive growth.
We know that disadvantaged groups entering the labour market for the first time experience particular difficulties. That is why our Labour Market Strategy sets out how we will put fairness front and center in our ambition to develop a skilled workforce that is capable of meeting the needs of employers.
The creation of clearer pathways from employability services into sustainable work or training will be important to help people, particularly those further from the labour market, to take advantage of job opportunities.
An example of this approach is the alignment we are making with the Early Learning and Childcare ( ELC) sector. The Scottish Government is committed to increasing funded ELC entitlement from 600 hours per year to 1140 hours per year by 2020. The commitment covers all 3 and 4 year old children, and eligible 2 year olds and will require a significant expansion in the ELC workforce. It is estimated that up to 11,000 additional ELC workers will be needed to meet the demands of the expansion by 2020. Although some of the demand will be met by school leavers and parental returners we know that recruitment will need to be conducted with groups who have not traditionally considered a career in ELC.
It is vital that we do more to connect people taking part in employability services, with the new jobs in growth sectors.
The Scottish Government's Infrastructure Investment Plan  reaffirmed energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority for Scotland. The cornerstone of this activity is Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme ( SEEP), which will set a vision to achieve a substantive improvement to the energy and heat efficiency of our building stock, investing in the majority of our existing buildings to make them fit for Scotland's low carbon future.
The roll out of SEEP has the potential to create a substantial Scottish market and supply chain for energy efficiency services and technologies, with every £100 million spent on energy efficiency improvements in 2018 estimated to support approximately 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs across the Scottish economy  .
We know that employment opportunities in the skills and supply chain will need to be increased during the SEEP transition phase and beyond and we want to ensure that these employment opportunities are available to all. We will liaise with our partners, including our Skills and Enterprise Agencies, to identify the opportunities and align these with local employability programmes.
For those people who are further from the labour market, continuing to improve and develop better access to in-work training offers will be the important next stage in the journey back to work, and we – working with SDS and other partners – need to develop improved pathways to better support these groups.
From 2018 onwards, the Scottish Government will identify areas of good practice across Scotland of supporting people out of work into in-work training and new job opportunities in growing employment sectors and encourage replication in other areas, including making links to devolved employment services.