Speaking today after a visit to Inverclyde Community Development Trust and Port Glasgow Business and Training Centre, Scottish Labour MSP and candidate for Deputy Leader, Alex Rowley said: ‘Labour must put full employment at the heart of its policy for skills in Scotland.’
He said: ‘I believe that we must be ambitious and support all Scots to succeed, reach their full potential and live a life free from poverty. My proposal to meet this aspiration is to ensure that everyone fit for employment in Scotland has the opportunity of a secure job with decent pay; to make full employment Scottish Labour’s number one priority.
‘The fact is we live in a global economy and as such the creation of skilled and secure jobs for all, and tackling unemployment and under-employment, is one of the most pressing challenges facing Scotland. Whilst manufacturing, mining and heavy industry once made up 40% of Scotland’s economy, today these represent only 8% of our workforce.
‘I welcome the powers around employability that are coming to the Scottish Parliament through the draft Scotland Bill. However, I now want to see a discussion around the powers left at Westminster so that we have in Scotland all the powers and budgets we require to drive employability and our goal of full employment.’
The Fife MSP also said ‘There needs to be a transformation in Scottish education to prepare young people for the changing world of work and challenges posed by competing in a global economy. For too many of our young people school has not worked for them and they are less likely to succeed as adults in a modern economy. In many of our poorest communities there is generational unemployment. This is no longer acceptable and I want to see a discussion across Scotland on how we tackle the education and skills gap that leaves too many people unable to access employment.
‘Today I saw a great set up in Port Glasgow where people are achieving skills and jobs and this must be Labour’s priority for Scotland.’