BOSSES’ organisation CBI Scotland and the Scottish Trades Union Congress have joined forces to impress upon the First Minister the importance of upskilling and retraining to the future of the Scottish economy. In a historic move, they have written to Nicola Sturgeon calling on her to commit to improving both in the forthcoming Programme for Government.

They have championed a partnership approach that takes into account the needs of employers and employees. “Preparing for the future is a joint effort, with all stakeholders committed to seizing the opportunities and mitigating the risks of technological change,” they wrote. “We believe that success can only be achieved when employers, trade unions and government work together.”

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, is absolutely vital to our future success – but this has to be managed in the right way.

“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.

“That’s why we’re delighted to have partnered with the STUC to make this a key pillar of our engagement ahead of the Programme for Government.”

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith added: “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. Where unions’ objectives align with those of the Scottish Government and CBI Scotland when considering the future nature of work, the interest of workers needs to be at the forefront of workplace action and in the national policy debate.”