The COVID-19 pandemic presented a crisis like no other in recent history. Combined with the UK’s departure from the EU, rising costs and continuing labour and skill shortages, it revealed the extent of the challenges faced by government, employers and all of us individually.
As Scotland prepared for the 2021 Scottish election, its political parties needed to offer credible ways to address these ongoing challenges. We set out to support them in this task through our Scottish manifesto, Fairer workplaces for a fairer Scotland.
Read our manifesto. Take a look at our full recommendations. And learn more about our policy work across Scotland.
Our manifesto resulted from a programme of engagement with our members – people professionals who had been supporting organisations and their people to navigate unprecedented changes to working patterns, regulations and support schemes. Informed by survey research, policy roundtables and individual consultations, we gathered the evidence to make the business case for fairer work across Scotland – work that benefits people, businesses, the economy and society.
We sought to influence the Scottish government’s agenda in four areas of public policy: the future of work, skills for tomorrow, wellbeing after COVID-19, and supporting inclusive workplaces.
Our key recommendations included:
- transforming lifelong learning provision, with enhanced ILAs at its heart
- rebalancing public funding towards demand-led vocational routes like apprenticeships
- improving management skills support for SMEs in particular
- investing in mental health support for employees
- enhancing support for those with caring responsibilities.
COVID-19 heightened awareness of the need to improve the way people are managed and developed. Our manifesto influenced policy and secured government support in key areas. And we’ve continued to share guidance and resources to support leaders and managers who are championing fair work.
Read our 2021 Scottish manifesto for fairer workDownload Fairer workplaces for a fairer Scotland
When we published our manifesto, we were yet to witness the beginning of devasting war in Ukraine and its impact on fuel prices and the cost of living. Our recommendations remain as urgent as ever. And some have been adopted by the Scottish Government, notably the development of a new Lifetime Skills Offer as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and changes to Carer’s Allowance eligibility rules which have been announced in a government consultation.