FM 'must avoid jobs crisis'

CBI bosses call for speeding up of recovery plan

Carolyn Fairbairn

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn: a need for action (pic: Terry Murden)

CBI leaders are today warning the Scottish government that it must not let the health crisis delay plans to head off a potential economic catastrophe.

They are urging First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to speed up investment in the green agenda, give the go-ahead to shovel-ready projects, and further reform business rates as part of an urgently-needed recovery plan.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, and Tracy Black, its Scotland director, have co-authored a letter to Bute House calling for a renewed focus on job creation, training the young and re-skilling redundant workers.

They say: “redundancies will rise fast over the autumn as support schemes, especially the JRS, wind down” and list a range of activities demanding immediate action.

Their letter coincides with the publication today of recommendations from the government-commissioned economic advisory group chaired by former banker Benny Higgins.

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Dame Carloyn and Ms Black say businesses recognise the need to prioritise health and adapt to new ways of working following the Covid-19 crisis.

“But that must not delay urgently implementing an ambitious recovery plan that responds to the scale of the economic challenge Scotland faces,” they say. 

“As people begin returning to work safely, two priorities stand out: jobs and investment. Unemployment is the biggest threat to livelihoods and must not be allowed to scar communities across the country.

“Meanwhile, business investment must bounce back fast to create the jobs of the future and address Scotland’s poor productivity performance.”

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