Low Wage Economy, 11 February, Edinburgh

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Low Wage Economy

Event Overview

A recent study showed that fifty two per cent of those living in circumstances defined by key measures as being in poverty were actually in work. In addition, one in five of Scotland’s workforce earn below the living wage. Sixty thousand Scots are employed on zero-hour contracts in their main jobs.  Since 2010, eight in ten new jobs created in Scotland have been in low-pay industries.

This all raises some very major questions. If one accepts that there is no ‘magic bullet’, what incremental steps can be taken to improve wages, increase the number of higher quality jobs and reduce in-work poverty?

Agenda (subject to change)

09:30   Registration

10:00   Opening Remarks from the Chair
           Andrew Noble, Programme Manager, Economic Outcomes,  Improvement Service 

Morning Session: The role of local and national government

10:10    Morning Keynote
            Dr. Jim McCormick, Scotland Advisor, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

10:40    Panel discussion
            Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser, Unison
            Steve Brannagan, Head of Customer & Business Service, Scotland Excel
            Susanne Ross, Lecturer in Business, Queen Margaret University

Topics for discussion will include:

Reducing dependency on public sector jobs; how local economies can be more effectively anchored; addressing notions of ‘people and place’; making the transition from benefits to work; leveraging in European monies for employment schemes; the importance of multi-agency work; procurement and your supply chain.

11:30    Refreshments

Afternoon Session: The Wider Economy

11:50    Opening remarks from the Chair
            Andrew Noble, Improvement Service

12:00    Afternoon Keynote: Will City Deals deliver inclusive growth? What are the systemic dynamic forces behind the low-wage economy?
            Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economics Strategy 

12:30    Panel discussion
            Jenny Stewart; Partner, Head of Infrastructure and Government, KPMG Scotland
             Lucy-Rose Walker, Co-founder, Entrepreneurial Spark
             Ranald Mair, Chief Executive, Scottish Care

Topics for discussion will include:

Population retention; growing SME market in rural areas; looking beyond Business Gateway; diversifying the economy; education about accredited enterprises.

13:15    Lunch and refreshments

14:00    Session Three: OPEN SPACE SESSION

Each delegate will introduce themselves and explain briefly what they hope to take away from the session. The chair will then ask four delegates to explain in more detail their idea. Delegates will then join the group they feel most curious about. Delegates can move group at any time. Each group will be assigned someone to record the conversation and report back to plenary.

15:15    Close

Who should attend

Community Planning Partnerships, Policy Officers, Human Resource professionals, Councillors, Economic Development professionals, Employability officers.

Venue and costs

Event location: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Delegate rates

  • PRIVATE SECTOR: £199 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please contact Jim McKay, by email jim@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1693.