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by Jenni Davidson
01 September 2020
Scottish Conservatives propose sector-based job councils to match unemployed workers to new careers

Douglas Ross - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

Scottish Conservatives propose sector-based job councils to match unemployed workers to new careers

Job security councils should be set up in Scotland to match unemployed workers to new jobs, the Scottish Conservatives have said as they set out their plans to grow the economy and help the country recover from coronavirus.

The job councils, which are based on a model that is used in Sweden, would be tailored to specific sectors such as oil and gas and complement the work done by job centres.

The party also wants a hardship fund set up to support businesses through localised lockdowns, such as the one in Aberdeen, an e-commerce taskforce to support businesses to trade online, a ‘Scotland-first’ procurement plan for the public sector, the creation of an  and growth deals for rural areas.

Other proposals within the Scottish Conservatives’ plan for jobs include widening the M8 to a three-lane motorway and creating a national smart travel card that can be used across all forms of transport in Scotland.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “In the biggest economic downturn of our lifetime, the UK Government stepped up and protected nearly a million Scottish jobs. Now the Scottish Government must match that ambition.

 “My proposals won’t just protect jobs over the next few months, they will power up the Scottish economy and start creating the jobs of tomorrow, today.

“This detailed blueprint for the next phase of recovery will help workers retrain and find new skilled work, give town centres the tools they need to rebuild, and take every part of Scotland forward together. 

 “I will work with the Scottish Government on these proposals wherever possible but there is a clear contrast between what we see as Scotland’s priorities.

 “I don’t believe Scottish people want a government that drags us back to the division of the past and wastes time on constitutional wrangling.

 “I believe people want both of Scotland’s governments to co-operate, not compete. They want us to hand power back to communities, not hoard it in Edinburgh.

“They want long-term strategies that build for the future, not sticking plaster proposals that prove to be second-rate.

“Most of all, I believe Scottish people want action on jobs, now. They don’t want delays and excuses.

 “This is a time of crisis for Scotland – but a moment of opportunity too. If we focus on the urgent priorities of Scottish people, we can restore and rebuild our economy stronger than ever.”

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