Council Leader welcomes possible devolution of job creating powers

Councillor Andrew Burns, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, has welcomed high-level discussions about the potential early devolution of job creating powers to Scotland.

Cllr Burns was speaking ahead of draft legislation due to be published at the end of this month, following the publication of the Smith Commission recommendations in November 2014 .

The report recommended ways in which the UK Government might devolve more powers to Scotland following the promises made during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. It will form the basis of the draft legislation due to be published on 25 January 2015.

One of the Smith Commission proposals was to give the Scottish Parliament powers over support for unemployed people through employment programmes currently contracted by the Department of Work and Pensions, when those current commercial arrangements end.

This would include initiatives such as the ‘Work Programme’ and allow Scottish local authorities to design and operate their own local employment programmes to get people back to work, hopefully making them more relevant for each city.

Cllr Burns said:

“As Council Leader in Scotland’s Capital, I would warmly welcome any early devolution of job creating powers such as the ‘Work Programme’. The City of Edinburgh Council already has significant expertise in this area and has achieved really positive outcomes from current employment programmes like the Edinburgh Guarantee.

“We could very constructively use any devolution of the ‘Work Programme’ to tailor localised arrangements that would be best-suited to our own local circumstances.”

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