News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Programme for Government announcement summary

Posted: 2nd September 2020

Programme for Government announcement – 1st September 2020


  • With forthcoming withdrawal of furlough scheme, Scottish Government is asking Westminster to extend job retention scheme for 12 months esp. for sectors hardest hit
  • Focus on upskilling and re-skilling the workforce
  • Youth Guarantee – a new partnership with employers with £60million of investment to guarantee everyone aged 16-24 a job, training, or education
  • £10million for employers to recruit and retain apprentices
  • National Transition Training fund of £25million launched this Autumn to help up to 10,000 people retrain
  • Flexible Workforce Development Fund doubled to £20million to help employers address skills gaps
  • £100million green jobs fund
  • Greater flexibility over working patterns seen to be beneficial even as people return to offices – new Centre for Workplace Transformation to examine this and look at what support employers and business need to allow this to happen
  • Investment in infrastructure by end of next Parliament will be £1.5 billion higher than last year
  • £32billion of infrastructure investment over next 5 years, partly in digital infrastructure
  • £600million programme to make superfast broadband available to all homes and businesses across Scotland
    • Voucher scheme to ensure everyone in Scotland has access to superfast broadband by end of 2021
  • Eliminate digital exclusion – established Connecting Scotland during lockdown to provide tech to people on low incomes
    • By end of 2021: an electronic device, digital training and support, and data for 50,000 people who would not otherwise be able to access it
  • Government intends to implement recommendations of Mark Logan review in full – create a network of tech incubators to mentor and train tech start-ups, an ecosystem fund to help start-ups to succeed, provide reskilling opportunities for new jobs in digital industries, work with technology sector on education and investment
  • Scottish National Investment Bank launching soon


Greener Scotland

  • 2045 net zero emitter
  • Create £100million green jobs fund – half for businesses and organisations to grow employment in low carbon sector, half help businesses take advantage of investment in low carbon economy
  • £62million Energy Transition Fund to help oil and gas businesses diversify
  • Invest £60million to help industrial and manufacturing transition to net zero
  • Grangemouth Future Industry Board to promote economic activity whilst moving to low carbon future
  • More support for circular economy and new energy technologies
  • Launch later this month the first round of a green investment portfolio



  • By the end of this year will publish a new Inward Investment Plan with aim of creating 100,000 high quality jobs over next decade
  • Will publish a draft bill setting out proposed terms and timing for Scottish Independence referendum by end of this Parliament



  • Will be launching a new app later this month – ‘Protect Scotland’ – to notify people if they’ve been in close proximity to someone who’s tested positive
  • £500million invested in enabling more active travel
  • Implement low emission zones in 4 biggest cities by early 2022


Social care services

  • Review of adult social care launched today, produce first report by January
    • looking at creation of a National Care Service



  • Extend protection against eviction until March next year
  • Establish £10million tenant hardship fund for those struggling due to pandemic
  • Publish 20-year vision for housing later this year with promise of investment
  • ‘20-minute neighbourhood’ – idea of finding shops, green spaces, work, etc. within 20 minutes’ walk of a good home – aiming to turn this into a reality with £275million for town centre revitalisation and community-led regeneration


Social welfare

  • November will start taking applications for Scottish child payment to be received by February – £10/week per child under 6 for eligible families
  • £200/child for parents of severely disabled children this winter



  • Allocated £80million for recruitment of teachers and support staff
  • Will fund additional university places

United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child to be incorporated into law by the end of this year

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here