Targeted measures to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been announced by the Scottish Government.
Publishing responses to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report and the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board report, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop (pictured) has outlined key actions to generate significant economic growth, combined with a focus on supporting jobs, skills and training.
These initial measures include:
investing at least £50 million to support Youth Employment, including the Scottish Job Guarantee
embedding Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeship places as part of our wider college and university provision as well as extending Fair Start Scotland services
introducing a Transition Training Fund to support individuals facing redundancy and unemployment in those sectors most exposed to a downturn providing opportunities to upskill and transition into employment
maximising help for those facing redundancy through the Scottish Government’s PACE support programme
make it easier for SMEs to compete for public sector contracts and supporting SMEs to make greater use of digital technology
explore options to alleviate planning restraints, build capacity and deal more quickly with complex applications
invite leaders from business and other organisations to work with senior civil servants to ensure key Scottish Government policies maximise opportunities for economic benefit
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“We all acknowledge the scale of the challenge facing Scotland’s economy as result of COVID-19, but we also recognise this is an opportunity to do things differently and crucially to rebuild a stronger, fairer and greener economic future.
“The Scottish Government’s focus will be on protecting jobs, creating jobs, ensuring quality jobs and supporting skilled jobs.
“We are working quickly to achieve this and many of the actions outlined today are already well underway.
“No one should be left behind and our work to prioritise those hardest hit by this pandemic is clear through our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Scottish Job Guarantee, as well as our dedicated Transition Training Fund which will provide opportunities to upskill and transition into employment.
“We are also focused on generating significant economic growth through further action to support our small and medium sized businesses, proposals to alleviate planning restraints and our commitment to continue working closely with business leaders to ensure we are doing all we can.
“Ultimately, the best way to secure our recovery from the economic challenges of COVID-19 is to eliminate the virus.
“That is why it is so important that we continue to invest in Test and Protect, and why all of us must continue to follow the guidelines – particularly around social distancing and hand hygiene.”