Our focus must be on quality of employment, not just quantity

Responding to publication by the Scottish Government of a Labour Market strategy, Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy & Fair Work spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“Amid uncertain times, it’s essential that we invest to make our economy stronger and fairer. Too many people are stuck in jobs that are badly paid and insecure, when Scotland has huge opportunities in sectors that offer lasting, high quality employment.

“It’s welcome to see the Scottish Government talking about replacing the Work Programme and Work Choices schemes that will be devolved next year but it remains a concern that they have not committed to adopting our proposal to block the DWP from continuing to apply benefit sanctions, which cause hardship, harm people’s health and set back their journey into employment. The strategy also talks about the need to support women and older workers, but as this week’s Audit Scotland report showed, the Scottish Government’s policy on part-time college places has dramatically cut opportunities for women and people over 25.

“It’s good to see commitments in this strategy to public service employees including more health visitors and a living wage for carers, and a recognition that opportunities exist in subsea engineering, decommissioning and renewables. All of these have been Green campaign priorities.

“And while the Fair Work agenda, encouraging good practice, forms a central part of this strategy it’s still not clear if the Government is willing to penalise those firms who don’t behave responsibly, either to their workforce or to wider society. Our focus must be on quality of employment, not just quantity.”


Scotland's Labour Market Strategy (Scottish Government)

Green MSPs' proposal to block DWP from applying sanctions