Richard Leonard launches Scottish Labour’s ‘jobs for good’ campaign
Richard Leonard has launched Scottish Labour’s ‘jobs for good’ campaign, based in urging the Scottish Government to make a series of targeted interventions in sectors such as energy, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality to boost employment after the furlough scheme ends.
Unemployment in Scotland rose by 30,000 between February and April, reaching 127,000, while there are growing concerns over the prospect of further unemployment when the UK Government’s jobs retention scheme comes to an end.
The campaign will call for new support for jobs paid at the Real Living Wage, regardless of age, and with employment underpinned by childcare provision.
Under the plans, interventions would be targeted at growth industries in an attempt to stimulate the economy in a sustainable way.
Running until the end of August, the campaign will be largely based in digital activities due to restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Labour leader said: “We need jobs for good. It is crucial to target support towards young people – but the UK Government's Kickstart Scheme will offer low-paid, part-time jobs for six months only to workers under the age of 24. We need a quality jobs guarantee scheme now, or we risk mass unemployment and a lost generation of young workers.
“Over the past decade, Tory cuts have undermined Scotland's economic base, and the SNP’s hit and miss approach to intervention has been one of managed decline. Both the UK and Scottish governments have left Scotland unprepared for the coming economic crisis, just as we were unprepared for the COVID-19 public health and care crisis.
“But there is another way. Over the past few months we have seen a growing public expectation in Scotland for state intervention in the economy. There can be no going back to the old, failed normal. Scottish Labour’s jobs for good campaign will seek to build on that new consensus to fight off the unemployment crisis and build a better Scotland.”