A NEW business charter that aims to promote local jobs, apprenticeships and payment of the living wage has been launched.

The charter, which also sets out how Fife Council will support the region’s businesses, outlines the part the business community can play in making sure the benefits of Kingdom's economic growth are shared by all.

Companies in Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area are being encouraged to adopt the Fife Business Charter which aims to promote the creation of employment and training opportunities for local residents, including those with disabilities. It also encourages businesses to work with schools to support learning and career opportunities for local children.

At the launch of the Charter, Cllr David Ross, co-leader of Fife Council said: “This Business Charter signals our commitment to a new way of working to ensure that we work with local businesses to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the Kingdom in order to create a Fairer Fife.

“Businesses are increasingly judged on their values and corporate responsibility policies and adopting the charter is a fantastic way of demonstrating your company’s commitments to those values.”

The Charter backs the Council’s drive to develop a Fairer Fife to reduce inequalities and encourages businesses to:

Commit to local recruitment and employment.

Adhere to the principles of fair work and pay.

Make a commitment to actively support and invest in the community.

Create employment and training opportunities for local and young people.

Promote greater inclusion for people with physical and mental health issues.

Having recently won the title of ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ Fife Council remains committed to supporting Fife’s businesses.

Co-Leader, Cllr David Alexander, explained: “The Charter is also designed to make contact with the council easier and more effective.

“It sets out what the council will do to help all the region’s businesses whatever their size and sector and signposts them to where they can receive advice and support to both start-up and grow.

“It commits the council to procuring as many of its goods and services from Fife suppliers as possible and outlines how we will help businesses comply with statutory requirements.”

The Charter was developed in conjunction with the Fife Economy Partnership, Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses.

Michael Longstaffe, chair of the Fife Economy Partnership said: “The Fife Economy Partnership, along with Fife’s two main business networks - the Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses - welcome this business charter and the council’s commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors.

“We encourage local businesses to check out this new charter, take up the council’s offers of support, and show their commitment to supporting inclusive economic growth in the region by taking the Fairer Fife Pledge and by signing up to the Scottish Business Charter.”

Our picture shows councillors Alexander and Ross with Michael Longstaffe and Ian Palmer of the Fife Economy Partnership.