Thursday, 14 April 2016

Sturgeon Sets Out Ambitious Plan to Boost Innovation and Productivity

Re-Elected SNP Government To Have 'Relentless Focus' On Boosting Economy To Create Jobs

SNP Leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today set out the actions a re-elected SNP Government will take to boost Scotland’s economy and create jobs – promising a ‘relentless focus’ on innovation and productivity to create more, better paid jobs.

The First Minister made clear that if re-elected for a historic third term, the SNP in government will focus firmly on four key pillars of our economic strategy - maximising investment in infrastructure and skills, driving innovation, boosting exports and promoting more inclusive growth.

Ms Sturgeon made the pledge after visiting Ferguson’s shipyard in Port Glasgow, which the SNP helped save by securing new investment and whose production of hybrid ferries has been hailed as a prime example of Scottish industry using new and innovative technology.

The SNP Government’s investment in the new hybrid ferries has enabled the shipyard to hire more employees and expand the shipyard.

Key aspects of the SNP’s plan to boost the economy announced today include:
  • New support to help business scale up and expand
  • Launching a new Innovation Prize, with an annual award for the project that can best turn new ideas into new businesses, jobs and growth
  • A new educational programme targeted at developing entrepreneurial skills within the workplace
  • Investing in apprenticeships and support for young people to get into work
  • Triple the number of exporting advisors in Scotland and fund new Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Dublin and Brussels to attract inward investment and help companies and academia access new markets and investors
Commenting, Ms Sturgeon said:

“Scotland’s economy has strong foundations – with employment outstripping the rest of the UK, inward investment levels booming and exports increasing – but we are determined to build on the progress we’ve made in recent years and go even further in boosting our economy and creating more and better jobs.

“One of the key ways we can continue to improve our economic performance is by working to incentivise innovation and boost our productivity – and a re-elected SNP Government will put in place a series of ambitious plans to ensure our economy is able to meet its full potential.

“While the SNP in government would guarantee a relentless focus on continuing to improve our economy and create jobs, the other parties’ have so far been unable to string a coherent economic plan together – with the Tories continuing to be wedded to George Osborne’s austerity plans, and Labour’s only idea on the economy seeming to be hiking taxes on low-earners in Scotland.

“The election three weeks today is about who is best to stand up for Scotland, ensure our economy is fit for the challenges of the future and keep the country moving forward – and if re-elected as First Minister, I pledge today that a government I lead will use every power at our disposal to boost our economy and create more and better jobs here in Scotland.”
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