Clyde Mission Division

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

1. To ask the Scottish Government whether the Clyde mission division has received any response from outwith the country to the call by the economy secretary for ideas “to make the river an engine of sustainable and inclusive growth for Glasgow, the region and Scotland”. (S5O-05130)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I thank the member for raising awareness of the Clyde mission call for ideas. The call was launched on Monday 1 March and will remain open until 29 March. The Clyde mission aims to use the river and immediate surrounding land as a national strategic asset. It is focused on developing new, green jobs; making use of vacant and derelict land; adapting to climate change; accelerating our progress to net zero; and using the river to create better places for people and communities.

The call for ideas seeks views from those who live, work and do business around the Clyde on what the Clyde mission means to them and what success would look like. We have not yet received any responses from outwith Scotland but would welcome them. I encourage colleagues whose constituencies are adjacent to the river to promote engagement with the call for ideas within their area.

Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

The initiative is welcome. It is well overdue and I am grateful that it is taking place now; it is a good thing. What is the Government doing to ensure that the public spend on the upcoming loch class ferry replacement is used to attract inward investment and to bring knowledge and skills into Scotland?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Clearly, we are all focusing on achieving net zero emissions by 2045, and there are opportunities for the Scottish supply chain to embrace that goal through the improvement and maintenance of lifeline ferry services. The small vessel replacement programme is part of that green recovery and will strengthen the viability of some of our remotest communities. Scottish shipyards will be able to construct vessels, which will be an opportunity to support significant upskilling requirements in construction.

I welcome the member’s interest in that particular aspect of transport, but I point out that, although it will include some of the Clyde routes, it falls outside my ministerial responsibility for the Clyde mission. I am sure that Paul Wheelhouse, whose portfolio of energy and connectivity in the islands includes responsibility for ferries, will be happy to provide further information.

Gil Paterson has not only been a stalwart of my party; he is a founding member of the Scottish Parliament. He has helped to steer it and devolution for the benefit of not only his constituents but everybody in Scotland. I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing him well and congratulating him on making an excellent speech on the Clydebank blitz last night.

Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

I welcome the update on the Clyde mission and send my best wishes to Gil Paterson.

The cabinet secretary is aware that the Fair Work Convention has raised concerns that Scotland is not on track to become a fair work nation by 2025 unless bold action is taken. Will the cabinet secretary explain her aspirations for the contribution that the Clyde mission could make to Scotland becoming a fair work nation?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I recently met the Fair Work Convention. I share its concerns about the momentum required to ensure that we do what we all want to do, which is to become a fair work nation by 2025. The convention’s advice and input is welcome.

Public money is going into the Clyde mission to support ideas, but the money should also be supporting new, good, green jobs and creating a workforce with the skills to secure those jobs. Conditionality, and the issues that we are all aware of, will be part of our on-going grants and support, including for the Clyde mission.