Principal Contractor akp Scotland hosted Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown to their East Kilbride Headquarters today to kick off Living Wage Week and the announcement of the increase to the Living Wage rate.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Keith Brown welcomed the new Living Wage rate and has urged more Scottish employers to become accredited.

The 30 pence uplift will see thousands of people benefit from higher wages to help meet the increasing cost of living.

Speaking at akp Scotland, Mr Brown said:

“This increase to the Living Wage is good news for thousands of employees and will help boost wages to offset the increasing cost of living.

The Living Wage is not just positive for employees, it also makes sense for businesses, having been proven to increase productivity, reduce staff absence, and improve staff morale. It also sends a strong and valuable signal to customers about fairness.

Scotland performs exceptionally well in this area with the lowest percentage of people on low pay of any UK region outside of London and well over a quarter of all UK Living Wage accredited organisations.

We know however that we can and must do more to continue to promote our fair work agenda and put equality at the heart of our labour market, ensuring that everyone earns at least the Living Wage in the future.”

akp Scotland Joint Managing Director Martin Rowley said:

“akp became an accredited Living Wage Employer in 2016, and the decision to do so was a simple one for Ian and I to make.

Our workforce is the life blood of our business and we appreciate the dedication and hard work that goes into delivering the Construction, Refurbishment and Fit Out projects that have made akp one of Scotland’s go to Principal Contractors.”

akp Scotland Joint Managing Director Ian McEwan said:

“We wanted to make sure we paid staff enough to live on, it’s an investment in our people and we believe it’s the right thing to do.

We have a good workforce and a very loyal workforce and have a staff retention rate of nearly 3 times the national average and I feel that paying a fair and realistic wage is part of the reason for this.”