Scottish Parliament’s COVID Recovery Committee to visit two Lanarkshire employment support services

The Scottish Parliament’s COVID-19 Recovery Committee will meet with employees and service users of two Lanarkshire employment support organisations next week.

Representatives will visit Routes to Work and Remploy in Airdrie on November 28 as part of an inquiry into the impact of the pandemic on Scotland’s labour market.

You are reading: Scottish Parliament’s COVID Recovery Committee to visit two Lanarkshire employment support services

The committee inquiry focuses on “understanding the impact of the long-term sick component on economically inactive people, as well as people who have chosen early retirement”.

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Although employment rates have recovered since the earlier stages of the pandemic, labour market inactivity rates remain high.

The UK is the only country in the developed world where people have continued dropping out of the labour market in significant numbers.

To explore the reasons behind this, the committee will participate in a round-table discussion with clients, partners and employers involved in Routes to Work.

This service helps unemployed residents in the North Lanarkshire area access employment, education and training opportunities.

Then the committee will hold further round-table discussions with clients of Remploy, which provides employment placement services for disabled people and other groups disadvantaged in the labour market including lone parents and refugees.

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Commenting ahead of the visit, committee convener, Siobhian Brown MSP, told Lanarkshire Live : “Our committee has taken a lot of evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Scotland’s labour market, and it’s clear that long-term sickness is one of the main drivers behind labour market inactivity.

“Hearing directly from frontline staff and service users in Airdrie and North Lanarkshire about the impact of the pandemic on employability and the labour market will provide us with valuable insights.

“While Scotland’s labour market has returned and improved on pre-pandemic levels, there are many issues which need to be considered around the impact of COVID on the health of the workforce.

“With higher levels of long-term sickness and the unknown impact of long COVID on the workforce, there is much for the committee to consider during its inquiry.

“This visit will help us get to the core of the challenges behind Scotland’s economic and social recovery.”

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