NICOLA STURGEON has been urged to put training for workers at the heart of her plans for the coming year.
Business organisation CBI Scotland and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) have joined forces to highlight the importance of a skilled workforce to meet the challenges posed by new technologies and automation.
In a joint letter to the First Minister, the organisations call for the forthcoming programme for government to commit to improving skills and training in order to boost the economy.
Businesses face a “significant challenge” in filling high skilled roles, the letter warns.
“While many businesses are already investing in training and development, a step change is needed if we are to futureproof our economy,” it adds.
“That means proper support for workers, identifying early which roles are likely to be in demand.
“We must also have a clear focus on developing and implementing a strategy that allows workers to bolster their existing skills and transfer them between settings and sectors, allowing a smooth transition to new roles.
“And workers need jobs designed and work organised in a way that allows them to make full use of the skills and knowledge they possess.
“The Scottish Government has already made steps in the right direction, but it is time for all of us to step up to the challenge.”
CBI Scotland director Tracy Black said: “Building a resilient, inclusive and competitive economy that’s not only fit for the future but can embrace the opportunities offered by changing technologies and automation today, is absolutely vital to our future success – but this has to be managed in the right way.
“With technological change showing no sign of slowing down we need to have a shared vision for what the future of work looks like – one that ensures no-one is left behind, worker or employer.”
Grahame Smith, STUC general secretary, added: “The nature of work is changing. This poses many challenges for workers and their employers.
“Workers need secure jobs that are well designed and which allow them to use their skills to the full.
“Unions have a key role to play in developing responses to technological change that support fair work objectives, allow businesses to flourish and contribute to inclusive growth in Scotland.”
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