Scotland Can Create Over 200,000 New Jobs

Faodaidh Alba 200,000 obair ùr a chruthachadh

Scotland has a strong and diverse economy that must be secured for the future. We know our economy should offer security, jobs and decent livelihoods for all, and not pursue growth for growth’s sake. To enjoy a prosperous future we must begin the transition to a sustainable green economy, one that prioritises fair pay and investment in low-carbon industry, and which breaks from the economics of austerity.

Scottish Greens will campaign to reverse government cuts to public services, and instead invest in Scotland’s people. With more Green MSPs we can support action to deliver thousands of jobs in clean, green industries. We can do business differently, supporting small businesses, social enterprises and employee-owned ventures to flourish. And we can build an economy for people, not growth at any cost.

Scottish Greens' "Jobs in Scotland's New Economy" report, published in 2015, demonstrates how to create over 200,000 new jobs by 2035, compared with 156,000 jobs currently provided by the Scottish fossil fuel extraction industry. We must invest in and create new jobs as the fossil fuel age comes to an end.

Patrick Harvie MSP

Scottish Greens Co-leader. Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights

Our commitments

  • Create over 200,000 jobs in sustainable industries.

    We will support Scotland’s energy industries to begin a large-scale transition into renewable energy generation, design and research.

  • Do business differently.

    Green MSPs will push for fair pay, decent jobs, workers’ rights and opportunities for cooperative enterprise.

  • Support people into work.

    We call for better support to help people find work and an end to the sanctions that punish those who can’t find a job.

Scotland can do business differently:

  • Business models that deliver more. Green MSPs will support social enterprises, cooperatives and employee-owned businesses to be at the heart of the economy. These business models deliver not just profits but social and environmental improvements too. Over 112,000 people are working in Scotland’s social enterprises, with 60% of these led by women. Employee-owned businesses are delivering increased sales, employment, profits and productivity. Greens will support these business models that challenge the status quo, promote equality and deliver more for Scotland.
  • Fair pay. We believe everyone should be paid a wage that lifts them out of poverty, and that nobody should be paid less because of their gender. We will campaign to make government business support available only to those companies who plan to pay the Living Wage, avoid zero-hours contracts, recognise trade unions, reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid, pay women and men equally and are environmentally responsible.
  • Trade unions. Unions are vital partners in a fair economy. We completely oppose the UK Government’s attacks on trade unionism and will campaign for employment, health and safety, equality and trade union law to be devolved. Scottish Greens will continue to support trade union campaigns to deliver jobs with decent pay and conditions. We want to see unions play a bigger role in planning for Scotland’s economic future and we will promote direct employee involvement in all levels of work, such as management, business development and innovation.

Scotland can become a jobs-rich, low carbon economy:

  • Low carbon investment. Our economy must deliver decent livelihoods while responding to the challenges of climate change. The transition to a jobs-rich, low carbon economy requires an end to austerity and investment at every level – from large offshore renewables to warmer homes in communities across Scotland.
  • Offshore skills. Scotland has world-leading offshore engineering skills and a wealth of natural resources around our shores. With skills in sub-sea engineering concentrated in Aberdeen we have an opportunity to excel in offshore wind, tidal and wave energy. The Scottish Greens’ Jobs in Scotland's New Economy report, published in 2015, demonstrates how to create over 200,000 new jobs by 2035, compared with the 156,000 jobs currently provided by the Scottish fossil fuel extraction industry. Green MSPs will support measures to increase access to new jobs for groups underrepresented in science, technology and engineering, including women and people from minority ethnic communities.
  • Sustainable industries. Green MSPs will support Scotland’s diverse economy with investment in sustainable industries and services which improve quality of life and reduce carbon emissions. We will promote sustainable expansion in areas such as food production, clean chemical sciences, digital and creative industries, medical and life sciences, construction, engineering, forestry and the energy industry. We will support development and sustainable practices in sectors such as research and development, independent retail, tourism and sports, waste reuse and recycling, shipbuilding, textiles and design.
  • Local banks, credit unions and local currencies. Social enterprises and employee-owned companies need finance and the financial institutions to match. Credit unions offer a realistic alternative to the traditional banking sector for many individuals and communities throughout Scotland, providing affordable, community-based, socially responsible lending and investment. Green MSPs will campaign to support credit unions and local banks to create a network of accountable finance institutions. These banking institutions would be more resilient than the ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks of today. We will also explore whether local currencies can encourage local trading activity to support independent retailers and small high street traders.
  • A public sector drive for sustainability. Along with companies and trade unions, we believe local authorities and enterprise agencies have vital roles in supporting a low carbon transition and securing future jobs. We will expand Scottish Enterprise's remit to supporting an economy that strengthens communities and delivers sustainability. We will create an economic development agency for rural areas not covered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, including the South of Scotland. We support empowering local authorities to issue low-carbon infrastructure bonds; divest public pension funds from fossil fuels, tobacco and firearms; deliver City Deals based on sustainable industries; and create local energy companies to deliver clean energy, cheaper heating, and plough profits back into public services.

Scotland can support people into work:

  • Equal access. Too many people are marginalised in the labour market including unpaid carers, disabled people, women, LGBTI+ people and those from minority ethnic groups. Green MSPs will support calls for a Gender Equality in Business scheme to incentivise gender-sensitive employment practices, and public procurement laws that allow decisions to be based on sustainability, equality, community benefit and local supply, not just the short-term cost. Greens will also back a non-permanent commission to tackle gender and racial occupational segregation in the labour market and lay out the case for the devolution of equalities legislation.
  • Scotland Guarantee. Green MSPs will campaign for a Scotland Guarantee of a job, training or education for every school-leaver. Latest figures show 8% of school leavers left school without a job or more education, but this rises to 15% for pupils from the poorest areas. Local authority and Scottish Government action, such as the Edinburgh Guarantee and Opportunities for All, has helped reduce that number but too many young people are still left without the opportunity to work or study. Green MSPs will campaign for better opportunities for all young people leaving school.
  • Support for employment. Powers to support people unemployed for a year or more will be devolved to Scotland over the next Parliament. The largest scheme, the Work Programme, has failed to deliver for the people who need it and now faces a funding cut of 87%. Green MSPs will push for a new scheme delivered on a non-profit basis, contracted locally to the public and third sector, which recognises the value of voluntary work and makes a genuine investment in participants’ skills. Such a scheme would address barriers to accessing work on account of age, disability, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Greens will also push for devolution and expansion of the Access to Work scheme which supports disabled people to start or remain in work.  
  • Stand against benefit sanctions. We believe sanctions that punish people for unemployment have no place in a fair system. The sanctions regime is reserved but the UK Department for Work and Pensions relies on information from Work Programme providers to know who to sanction. Green MSPs will campaign for new provider contracts to include a clause preventing them from sharing information with DWP that would lead to a benefit sanction, thus ending sanctions for a significant number of benefit claimants in Scotland.

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