THE First Minister is expected to unveil a pro-growth plan for the economy during a major speech in the Scottish Parliament – signalling a desire to win back the trust of business.

The National understands Humza Yousaf will seek to mark a departure from his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon in a bid to woo business, following a recent survey which showed the majority of private sector firms felt the SNP did not understand their needs or concerns.

Yousaf will announce his first Programme for Government – a list of the bills the Government wants to push forward in the coming year – in Parliament on Tuesday.

The National: Humza Yousaf speaking at an anti-poverty summit in Edinburgh earlier this week

Its contents have been mostly kept under wraps, though it has been reported the SNP leader will seek to encourage a four-day week and he is expected to announce new childcare policies aimed at helping mothers take on more work in a further measure to increase growth.

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It comes against a gloomy financial backdrop after Scotland’s onshore economy stagnated for two months in a row in June and May, according to official statistics published at the end of August.

Overall the economy was also found to have shrunk slightly in second quarter of this year – April to June – by minus 0.3%.

The First Minister is also expected to keep one eye on the social justice agenda which defined the Government’s ambitions in the Sturgeon era – though it is understood he will also stress the need for a stronger relationship with business.

Critics of Sturgeon said she neglected the concerns of the private sector and it appears Yousaf’s top team accept this characterisation.

Neil Gray (below, left), the Wellbeing Economy Secretary, told the BBC’s Sunday Show he recognised the need of the SNP administration to “rebuild” trust with the private sector.

The National: Neil Gray and Humza Yousaf

The PfG is also expected to include measures to implement the findings of a report published by the New Deal for Business Group earlier this year – which the First Minister has already accepted.

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The report urged the Scottish Government to make the country the “best place to do business” and which urged for stronger engagement with the private sector when drawing up policy.

Part of this is expected to include further support for entrepreneurship and innovation.

A realignment would chime with a shift in strategy from the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, who reshuffled his frontbench the day Parliament returned from its summer break.

Announcing the changes, Flynn pitched the SNP’s programme as being “the best route to securing strong and sustained economic growth” as he vowed to put the cost of living crisis at the “forefront” of the party’s work in Westminster.

The change in mood may raise eyebrows among some Green backbenchers who marked out opposition to the pursuit of economic growth in the party's coalition deal with the SNP.

In a party statement issued at the time of the Bute House Agreement, the party said treating the pursuit of growth as a “key objective” was a “relic of outdated economic thinking that is driving the destruction of the planet”.