LABOUR has claimed its jobs recovery plans would create at least 170,000 new positions – as Anas Sarwar’s strategy was handed a seal of approval by the party’s UK leader.

Scottish Labour’s Holyrood campaign has centred around a national recovery plan being drawn up – focusing on jobs, the NHS, education, the climate crisis and communities.

Last week, the party revealed its £1.2 billion jobs recovery plan – which has now received the thumbs up from UK Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

Sir Keir has praised the blueprint for having “the scale of ambition necessary to prevent mass unemployment in Scotland” and has criticised Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson for not doing enough to protect jobs.

The party has now revealed that if implemented, the jobs recovery programme would create at least 170,000 opportunities.

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The plan includes 60,000 rolls through the jobs for recovery scheme, 48,000 provided through the party’s kickstart proposals and around 19,000 positions through the building of social homes.

A targeted training policy for public sector professions is expected to create 25,000 jobs, the party has claimed.

Under Labour's 'jobs for recovery' guarantee, every young person and Scot who has struggled to find work is guaranteed a job for at least six months.

Sir Keir said: "This election in Scotland cannot be about old arguments or personalities - the pandemic has shown us that too much is at risk.

"That is why Scottish Labour's plan is the only thing on offer with the scale of ambition needed to start Scotland's recovery from this pandemic.

“Neither Nicola Sturgeon nor Boris Johnson can deliver what is needed to protect lives and livelihoods in the coming months.

"Scotland deserves better than they can offer."

Labour has brought forward the plans after the Office of National Statistics warned that unemployment in Scotland rose to 4.3 per cent between March and May.

READ MORE: Employment guarantee part of Labour's £1.2bn jobs recovery plan

This was a rise of 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter and the highest rate of unemployment in the UK.

The figures also showed that 53,000 fewer people were in employment in Scotland since the previous year.

Mr Sarwar warned that “Scotland is facing a job crisis”, stressing that “without urgent action, we could see hundreds of thousands of people facing a future out of work”.

He added: "Scotland deserves a brighter future – that’s why at this election we've set out plans to create at least 170,000 jobs in Scotland.

"That includes a guarantee for every young person or unemployed person to have a job and it is the biggest job creation scheme in the history of devolution.

“Scottish Labour will put national recovery before all else and will focus on what unites us, not what divides us.”