Coronavirus (COVID-19): measures to mitigate the labour market impacts - report

This report from a sub-group of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board contains recommendations for actions and interventions to help mitigate the expected rise in unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annex E: Full list of options Identified by the Sub-group

Table 5: Full list of Options

Proposed Action

Minimise Impact of Rising Unemployment

Apprenticeship innovations and flexibilities that address physical distancing challenges and make it easier and more accessible for SMEs & micro businesses to recruit and retain apprentices.

E-DYW - Online portal for young people for young people to find everything they need about their options, support, pathways and opportunities including support to develop their work ready skills.

Incentives for employers to retain apprenticeships.

To offer all 16-19-year olds a place in education, training or employment should they want it.

Reprioritisation of Foundation Apprenticeships to focus on level 4 and 5 and thus targeting those more likely to take on a Modern Apprenticeship or direct entry into the labour market.

National Training Academy where leavers would sign up to skills development courses which would focus on the needs of jobs in growth sectors or gaps in public sector provision.

Encourage public sector to employ more apprenticeships and fill key labour market shortages.

Continuation of the Furlough Scheme in some form which could include assistance for flexible and part-time employment.

"Young Worker" Charter to encourage private sector to protect young workers, promote employment and Fair Work.

Community Jobs Scotland scheme should be extended and the criteria for young people expanded.

Training schemes for young people under 25 where they receive some form of remuneration whilst undertaking the training / reskilling.

Potential gaps at universities to be filled by students resident in Scotland.

Require contractors for public sector infrastructure projects to offer apprenticeships.

Maintain or increase public sector employment.

Encourage greater Head Teacher engagement with DYW staff.

Support for Redundant Workers to Rapidly Transition into Work

Greater utilisation of FWDF to deliver more targeted, industry focused training (informed by Industry Leadership Groups).

Extend coverage of the Transition Training Fund targeting sectors likely to experience increase in demand.

Fewer limitations to allow SMEs and non-levy paying companies to access FWDF.

Mentoring schemes with older workers leaving the workforce to help retain knowledge and skills.

Greater support for disadvantaged groups to access digital training.

Cultivate a system change to achieve even greater refocus of FE priorities and parts of HE to meet the skills needs of businesses.

Ensuring a comprehensive review of Labour Market Information and skill predications and accelerating the pace of skills alignment

Match skills training to meet the demand/skills employers require in this 'new world'

Enhance the scale and support on offer from Individual Learning Accounts.

Scale up resources for PACE

Accreditation for short training courses.

Minimise Long Term Rise in Unemployment

Scotland's Big (virtual) Parents' Evening - to support messaging throughout summer 2020 to parents and young people

Employability Schemes re-introduced which provide work experience for under 25s to include essential employability skills

Work inspiration for those who opt to remain at school in academic year 2020/21.

A programme for skills matching to allow those with work experience but no formal qualifications to match experience on to a qualifications framework and receive recognition for acquired skills

A bursary scheme to help those who might have financial difficulty to access education

Scottish Government to lead, Social Security Scotland, local authorities & Third Sector to review additional measures to support threat to long term unemployed and vulnerable groups.

Increase support for schemes that mentor young people and help to develop enterprising skills particularly focussed on areas of deprivation

Introduction of a tax rebate to allow business to create some training models accordingly -similar to R&D

Demand Stimulation & Job Creation

Labour demand stimulus package (hiring subsidies/direct job creation).

Ensure Scottish firms have a greater role in public sector infrastructure projects.

Tailored business support for SMEs to help them retain staff and enhance productivity.

Increasing the food and drink produced in Scotland

Flexibility on the City Regions Deals to support the recovery.

Scope to drive forward the £9bn digital infrastructure programme

Collaborative agency support to help SMEs move to new business models, linking to support from trade bodies.

Low carbon investment

Targeted digital skills support to help businesses seize opportunities during the recovery.

A government backed campaign to encourage people to shop local, staycation and invest their money back into local economies

Shorter supply chains involving more Scottish firms.

Access to loan funding which is backed by the Scottish Government

Review of city and growth deals to take account of the green and circular economy to promote this as part of the economic recovery e.g. capital programmes to better insulate homes


Incentivise the promotion of Fair Work Principles and offer a grant to support employers to achieve this

Remove benefit penalties for volunteering/work experience

Build all interventions to be rooted in equalities from the outset rather than retro fitted

Targeted support for young people in rural areas to learn to drive

Additional support for those who may find working from home a challenge e.g. Digital inequality

To encourage young people to remain within rural areas, employers should be given financial assistance to employ and train school leavers and our colleges should be incentivised to provide a greater range of courses which are driven by local labour market demands.

Financial assistance and business coaching to help young people set up micro businesses

Improved connectivity for rural areas.



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