The SNP Government has published a new retail strategy to support retail businesses across North Ayrshire and Scotland.
Getting the Right Change: A Retail Strategy for Scotland outlines how the SNP Government, business leaders and trade unions can work together to unlock opportunities to grow businesses and the economy, improve wellbeing and address inequality, and support progress towards our ambitious climate change targets.
Actions outlined include:
Developing and promoting a Fair Work Agreement that retailers can voluntarily sign up to, to improve fair work conditions across the sector and contribute to reduction of in-work poverty
Working with Skills Development Scotland and other partners on a Skills Audit and Action Plan, to support retail reskilling or upskilling as jobs change, for example due to technology like self-scan checkouts and online ordering systems
Developing a Just Transition Plan for Retail to protect jobs and contribute to net zero emissions by 2045 through developing local supply chains, reuse of materials and sustainable travel choices by staff and customers
Promoting town and city centres and local businesses while supporting ways to repurpose vacant retail units
Harnessing opportunities in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation that will directly support the retail sector, like actions to grow businesses, boost productivity and support entrepreneurship
A new Industry Leadership Group will be established to drive delivery of the retail strategy, co-chaired by Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur MSP.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Retail is the largest private sector employer in Scotland, comprising more than 15,500 businesses employing more than 240,000 people - including a high proportion of women and young people.
“This plan will support skills development and fair work, but it will also help businesses develop and become more sustainable in other ways.
“As customers, we also rely on the retail sector to stimulate the local economy and we all want to see our high streets thriving, so shopping local is hugely important to help sustain local jobs and businesses.”
Chairman of the Scottish Retail Consortium John Brodie MBE said:
“Scotland’s retailers have shown tremendous fortitude and resilience to come through the tribulations of the past few years, a period of profound transformation for the industry which was accelerated by the COVID pandemic.
“The Scottish Retail Consortium is delighted to have partnered with government to develop this strategy which recognises the enormous economic and social contribution that retailers make and outlines a shared approach to sustainably grow the industry.”
The Leadership Group will include retail business and trade union representatives.