Talks on early devolution of powers welcomed

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 expected draft legislation, at the end of this month, following the November 2014 publication of the Smith Commission recommendations.

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 the current commercial arrangements finish.

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.

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.”

NOTE: The Smith Commission report was published on 27 November 2014. Lord Smith's recommendations will form the basis of draft legislation due to be published by 25 January 2015.

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