NICOLA Sturgeon is being urged to give Scots a “clear message that it’s safe to go back to work” as part of efforts to boost the country’s economy.

Business leaders at CBI Scotland have set out a series of “concrete policy recommendations” for the First Minister, who is due to announce her Programme for Government next week.

But as well as putting in place measures to improve skills and invest in the “green economy”, CBI Scotland director Tracy Black told the SNP leader that to “build confidence” in recovery, Scots should be given the green light to start returning to the office.

Black said: “During the election campaign we had parties of all stripes telling business that economic recovery was their number one priority. With skills shortages biting, stock levels dropping and the cost of materials soaring, it’s vital that the SNP, and their Scottish Green partners, use the programme for government to make good on their promise to prioritise our economic recovery.”

She also said there was a need to focus on the “challenges and opportunities facing Scotland to build an economy that is fair, sustainable and competitive in the long-term”.