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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5O-01253: Leonard, Richard (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to address the reported decrease in labour productivity.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 14 September 2017

Scotland’s labour productivity growth has outstripped the UK’s in recent years. GDP per hour worked has increased by 7.6% in Scotland since 2007, compared to 0.6% for the UK as a whole.

The Scottish Government is taking action to support the Scottish economy’s productivity, in line with the priorities set out in our Economic Strategy and our Labour Market Strategy, which underpins all our ambitions for Scotland’s labour market.

These include initiatives to help strengthen the skills of the Scottish workforce, such as the £10 million pilot Flexible Workforce Development Fund I launched last week, and the Individual Training Account scheme, which will help equip people with the right skills to participate in the labour market.

This investment in upskilling will assist the workforce to be better equipped for social and economic demand and support improved productivity.

We are also committed to paying the real Living Wage, and promoting it to all employers, and we are supporting access to flexible working, through initiatives such as the Family Friendly Working Scotland Partnership and Carers Positive scheme.

These measures contribute to reduced absenteeism, better retention, and improved staff morale, all of which help enhance productivity.