Fife Labour has unveiled an ambitious five-point plan for jobs, a key part of their policy agenda which offers ‘a fair deal for Fifers’.
Speaking in the budget debate in the Fife Council headquarters Fife Labour leader Councillor Alex Rowley set out the steps he would take to get the Kingdom back to work during today’s budget debate.
Cllr Rowley said the local authority has the power to create jobs but the current SNP and Lib Dem coalition is taking decisions which are throwing people out of work.
A Labour council would get a fair deal for Fife, according to Cllr Rowley.
Fife Labour leader Alex Rowley said:
“Some local authorities are spending millions trying to get people into work. Only yesterday North Lanarkshire Council announced a £15million plan to help 5000 unemployed young people into work over the next three years.
“Meanwhile, here in Fife, the council has spent almost £16 million and are contemplating spending a further £50 million to put people out of work.
“Fife Labour recognises that rising unemployment levels in Fife brings concern and anxiety to people throughout the Kingdom and, while the actions of local government will not in themselves solve this problem, there is much we can do as an authority to support existing businesses, support people to gain skills and experience and address the worst elements of the economic downturn.
“That’s why we’ve set out a five-point plan to create jobs in the Kingdom which will invest £5 million in getting people into work, training and skills; build a task force of employers and training providers and put resources in to support businesses and colleges take more people on; guarantee the council will work closely with training providers to see to it that people are able to get work experience and training that will lead to jobs in Fife; ensure that the procurement process does not lock out local companies; and establish a rapid response unit to support companies that experience difficulties.”
Councillor Rowley added:
“Fife Labour will ensure that our council always argues for a fair deal for Fife – we will make sure that the cuts to budgets are halted so that Fifers get a fair deal from the Scottish government.”
Fife Council’s General Fund Revenue Budget 2012/15:
3.9 As previously reported, the scale of the financial challenge facing the Council, coupled with the fact that over 60% of the Council’s expenditure is employee related, means a reduction in the workforce is inevitable…Latest estimates based on the level of savings required in future years suggests costs potentially ranging from £40m to £50m for the period to 2014-15, necessitating a strong reserves position.
Fife Labour’s five-point plan for jobs:
Fife Labour will make available up to £5 million of balances over the next three years to invest in getting people into work, training and skills.
Fife Labour will build a new partnership and task force of employers and training providers and put resources in to support businesses and colleges take more people into training and employment. Fife’s resources will act as a stimulus to help thousands of Fifers back into work.
Fife Labour will guarantee that the council will work closely with training providers to see to it that people are able to get work experience and training that will lead to real jobs within the Fife labour market.
Fife Labour will ensure that the council’s procurement process does not lock out local companies and indeed will work with business to find the best way of creating a fair playing field for Fife companies and businesses to compete.
Fife Labour will establish a rapid response unit that is available to support companies at an early stage of them experiencing difficulties. Many Fife companies are finding the banks less than supportive and this on top of rising costs and tighter margins is a real threat and one that we will make sure we have the expertise to assist with.