Twice-yearly discussions between First Minister and STUC agree future projects
Regular talks between the First Minister and Scottish unions have been described as “constructive”.
Alex Salmond met this morning with representatives of the STUC in Edinburgh, with youth employment high on the agenda for the twice-yearly talks.
The First Minister underlined the importance of government working in partnership with trade unions in progressing shared priorities of building economic growth and creating jobs – especially for young people.
Agreement was also reached between the Scottish Government and STUC to work together on investigating ways to boost manufacturing and the role of women in the workplace.
Mr Salmond said:
“I value this government’s partnership with the STUC very highly indeed. Today’s talks have been constructive, focusing particularly on our shared priorities of economic growth and job creation – especially for our young people.
“Scotland’s trade unions know as well as we do that the cost of youth unemployment is significant not just economically but socially and personally.
“We have taken a range of steps to tackle this – appointing the UK’s first ever dedicated Youth Employment Minister and publishing our Youth Employment Strategy.
“We have pledged to deliver 25,000 modern apprenticeships each year over the lifetime of this parliament and the commitment to every 16-19 year old who is not in an apprenticeship, in training, full-time education or a job to be offered a training place.
“Progress is being made but there is more to do and we are committed to working closely with the STUC. Since 2007 we have had a very positive relationship with Scotland’s trade unions and just a few months ago we signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing us to going even further.
“Today we have also focused on ways to grow Scotland’s manufacturing sector. The STUC share our belief in the importance of manufacturing and today we have agreed to undertake a study into how we can boost it further, by looking particularly at the German experience.
“We have also agreed to work together to look at the role women in the workplace can play in boosting economic recovery. Our discussions have been very useful and I look forward to continuing to work together on these shared priorities in the months to come.”
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
"These regular meetings between the STUC and First Minister provide an excellent opportunity to identify areas where we can work together to improve the prospects of the Scottish economy.
"Today we agreed to work together to tackle the growing problems faced by women and young people in the labour market. This will include ways in which women can access currently segregated occupational sectors.
“We will also build on ongoing work to consider ways in which manufacturing employment can be increased. We also took the opportunity to discuss early views on the referendum consultation.”