The Scottish Government has published a strategy to promote fair work and improve skills in the retail sector in Scotland.
The plan outlines how key industry stakeholders, including government, business leaders and unions, can work together to strengthen businesses and the economy, improve wellbeing and tackle inequality.
Among other actions, the strategy includes developing a fair labor agreement to improve working conditions and reduce in-work poverty across the sector, which retailers can voluntarily sign up to.
The government also plans to develop a “retail just transition plan” to protect retail jobs and help the sector contribute to the country’s commitment to net zero emissions. here 2045.
In addition, Skills Development Scotland and other partners will undertake an initiative called the Skills Audit and Action Plan, which aims to support reskilling or upskilling in retail as the nature of certain jobs change.
A new Industry Leadership Group co-chaired by Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur will be created to implement the retail strategy.
Arthur said: “Our retail strategy sets out actions to help the sector rebuild from the effects of the pandemic, address longer-term challenges and maximize opportunities to realize its potential.
“It was developed in collaboration with businesses, unions, universities and the public sector.
“We want to support innovation and entrepreneurship, and seize the opportunities of new technologies and new markets, to boost productivity and grow businesses.”
The strategy has won the support of several retail unions, including the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).
Usdaw Scottish Regional Secretary Tracy Gilbert said: “This strategy is a step in the right direction, and we will call for a greater focus on the strategic and structural issues that pose such significant challenges to the trading sector of retail and its employees.”