LAST month, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard outlined his vision for a Green New Deal for Scotland.

The proposals, such as 12,000 council homes each year, investing £100 million in new electric buses and more sustainable jobs in green industries, are necessary and welcoming.

The coronavirus crisis has shown us the need for new ideas and real action on the climate. Richard Leonard has the ambition to deliver these and ensure that we do not return to the lack of action we’re used to under this SNP government.

Our proposals for a Green New Deal have the potential to create 130,000 new jobs in housing, energy, infrastructure, environmental restoration and transport.

In Scotland we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources. We also have the will to change and to make things better.

We must bring together all sectors and sections of our society, harnessing all our natural resources, all our workforce skills, and all our ambition to create a greener, better future for us all.

Facing a major economic and unemployment crisis, we need to invest in our future.

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Creating quality, well-paid jobs for good will be crucial not just to our recovery but to equipping our workforce - especially young workers - with the skills and opportunities they will need throughout their working lives. That is Labour’s ambition heading into the elections next May.

Congratulations to school students who recently forced the SNP Government into a U-turn over the grade fiasco.

Young people in Clydebank and across Scotland made their voices heard and have now been awarded grades predicted by their teachers, rather than the SQA system that penalised students from the poorest backgrounds.

It was scandalous that historic results were used to pre-determine the grades for young people who could not sit exams. Of course, the situation is unprecedented as a result of the coronavirus, however the warnings that poorer pupils would be further disadvantaged were clear for months and the Government ignored these warnings.

Children and young people are most likely to suffer in the Covid recovery and recession. That is why I am delighted that those who can now continue to college and university can do so.

For those opting not to continue in education, job opportunities and training are more pivotal now than ever before. The Scottish and UK Governments must invest in jobs and must better protect employment rights for young people.