Scotland Election 2016

Leaders outline employment policies in Holyrood campaign

Leaders collage
Image caption Political leaders were out and about at campaign events across the country

Scotland's party leaders addressed the issue of employment while out on the Holyrood campaign trail.

Politicians out at campaigning events across Scotland took the chance to talk about their policies to create and protect jobs in Scotland.

Willie Rennie, Lib Dems

Willie Rennie underlined his commitment to vocational training during a visit to Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh.

Meeting volunteers while cleaning out a pig sty at the farm, Mr Rennie said his party would increase opportunities to gain industry-recognised vocational qualifications.

He said: "We know that formal education is not for everyone and we need to do more to ensure that everyone has the chance to learn in the way that works best for them.

"This is not only about increasing the number of apprenticeships we deliver in Scotland, but also working with industry to boost the range of approved qualifications available to young people, and others who want to gain new skills."

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP

Image copyright Nicola Sturgeon / Twitter

Nicola Sturgeon said the creation of jobs in Scotland was "vital to all of our other ambitions".

While visiting a salvage business in Drumchapel, the SNP leader said high and growing employment and well paid jobs would support the economy, which in turn would support public services.

She said her party would continue to put "great emphasis" on the economy, especially through the small business bonus which makes it easier for firms to take on more workers and create employment.

Ms Sturgeon also visited the former Tata steel plant in Dalzell to see it handed over to new owners Liberty House.

Jackie Baillie, Labour

Labour's Jackie Baillie visited a voluntary centre which helps young people develop skills for work while campaigning in Bathgate.

Party public services and wealth creation spokeswoman Ms Baillie said Labour would set out an anti-austerity pledge to raise £3bn more than the SNP would.

She said this would partly come from tax increases and partly from Holyrood's borrowing powers.

The money would be used to invest in education and training, including programmes to create a skilled workforce.

Ruth Davidson, Conservatives

Image copyright Ruth Davidson / Twitter

Ruth Davidson urged the creation of "regeneration zones" during a visit to the Inchinnan business park in Renfrew.

The Scottish Conservative leader outlined plans for business rates relief, access to superfast broadband and other benefits.

She said this idea would boost employment and support new businesses.

Ms Davidson also firmly backed Prime Minister David Cameron, saying he had answered "every question" about his tax affairs.

Alison Johnstone, Greens

Alison Johnstone visited a sports centre in Edinburgh while campaigning for better investment in sport.

The Green candidate for Edinburgh Central said she wanted to see cuts to the sports budget reversed, saying this could stop the NHS "bearing the brunt" of people growing unfit.

On jobs, Ms Johnstone called for 4,000 more teachers in schools as part of an investment in education, along with 200,000 new jobs in sustainable industries like renewables, forestry and biomass.

She said another Green priority was to ensure those working in the care sector are paid a living wage.

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