Scottish Labour unveils ‘jobs recovery’ plan to boost economy
Scottish Labour has set out its plans for a “jobs recovery” post COVID, which it says would create 170,000 jobs.
Pledging £1.2bn to the programme, the party says an employment guarantee for young and unemployed people, training for public sector professions and building more social homes will “kickstart” economic recovery.
Leader Anas Sarwar said: “Scotland is facing a job crisis – and without urgent action, we could see hundreds of thousands of people facing a future out of work.
“Scotland deserves a brighter future. That’s why at this election we've set out plans to create at least 170,000 jobs in Scotland.”
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics put Scotland’s employment rate at 74.3 per cent, down from 74.9 per cent a year ago.
The unemployment rate has gone up from 3.5 per cent to 4.1 per cent in the last year as people have lost their jobs due to COVID.
Meanwhile, analysis from the Scottish Government found youth unemployment had risen to 13.5 per cent last year, up from 8.3 per cent in 2019.
Labour believes a ‘jobs for recovery’ scheme targeted at young people would create up to 60,000 jobs, while it also commits to creating 5,000 apprenticeships.
In addition, the party says up to 7,500 jobs could be created through investment in energy efficiency, 19,000 for home building and 10,000 in its ‘Scottish Conservation Corps’, which it previously announced would plant at least 15,000 trees a year.
UK leader Keir Starmer, who is visiting Scotland today, said: “This election in Scotland cannot be about old arguments or personalities. The pandemic has shown us that too much is at risk.
“That is why Scottish Labour’s plan is the only thing on offer with the scale of ambition needed to start Scotland's recovery from this pandemic.”