EVERYONE of working age in Scotland would be guaranteed a job according to proposals submitted to the SNP’s conference in September, The National can reveal.

The radical plan, which has been submitted in a motion to the online event, could also see the Scottish Government launch trials for the initiative in some economically disadvantaged parts of the country before it is rolled out nationally.

Its backers say that like the universal basic income (UBI) it would guarantee a steady income to all but would be up to £47 billion a year less expensive to the public purse.

READ MORE: Why we're asking the SNP conference to support a job guarantee for all Scots

They also contend it would bring additional benefits to the individual such as allowing those who take part to earn a wage, learn new skills and to the greater good by enabling people to contribute economically through the income tax system once their earnings exceed the personal threshold. They also argue it would be easier to set up as either a trial or long-term scheme than the UBI which requires the co-operation of Westminster on certain aspects.

The resolution notes the work of the Scottish Government in setting up the Young Person’s Guarantee which was announced last year and ensures everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training. The Scottish Government is funding it with £60 million.

“Conference welcomes the Scottish Government’s Youth Guarantee, protecting the next generation from the economic scars of Covid-19 and Westminster austerity,” says the motion drawn up by the SNP’s policy convener chief Chris Hanlon (below), along with party activists Kairin van Sweeden and Cameron Archibald, who want the Job Guarantee scheme to become a permanent fixture in an independent Scotland.

The National: Chris Hanlon was elected as SNP Policy Development Convener at the party's recent conference

“Conference believes that periods of unemployment can cause serious harm to an individual’s mental and physical health, leading to further stress on our NHS, and notes that unemployment disproportionately affects women, ethnic minorities and young people.

“Conference proposes an independent Scotland should develop the Youth Guarantee into a universal programme, that offers employment as a human right and seeks to redefine “work” by providing a benchmark for pay and conditions sufficient to provide dignity and security to all.

“Conference believes that a universal Job Guarantee Programme will empower local communities to more effectively tailor the allocation of resources to meet each of their respective and unique needs, and that we must be willing to create jobs for all abilities, most especially for those considered to be ‘unskilled’.

“Conference also believes a universal Job Guarantee Programme must never be used as a test on vulnerable groups. Furthermore, Conference believes that jobs should be community focused, public sector jobs and not aimed at propping-up poorly functioning private sector businesses.”

It adds: “Conference further believes the full powers of independence, with fiscal and monetary tools, can better facilitate a universal Job Guarantee Programme.

“Conference proposes localised test trials of a universal Job Guarantee Programme and calls on the Scottish Government to work with local authorities to develop the enabling legislation that may be necessary to run effective pilot programmes.”

The supporting statement adds: “A Job Guarantee has the same goal as a UBI, that is the eradication of financial precarity. However, it has a number of important long and short-term advantages and, along with universal basic services, provides one of the necessary components of a wellbeing economy.

"A Job Guarantee will be considerably less expensive to implement than a UBI, in the order of £3-5bn per annum based on Scotland’s size and present levels of involuntary unemployment, whereas a UBI would cost between £10bn and £50bn ... Furthermore, by keeping workers employed whilst their previous private sector employer is at the bottom of an economic cycle, workers can retain skills, gain new skills and maintain regular workplace social interactions.”

It adds: “Trials of a Job Guarantee can and should be aimed at economically or environmentally disadvantaged areas where the new inflow of wages to the local economy will make the most impact [and] could be implemented prior to independence without a single extra power being devolved from Westminster.”

The resolution is currently being considered for inclusion in the agenda for the online SNP conference in mid-September.