Scottish Government action needed on apprenticeships

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has demanded that the Scottish Government provide more support for apprentices after it was revealed that across Scotland 855 apprentices were made redundant in the past year – including 24 in the Falkirk area. According to Skills Development Scotland, 720 of these – including 19 from the Falkirk area – were in the construction industry.

Cathy with Iain Gray and UCATT apprentices and representatives

Cathy with Iain Gray and UCATT apprentices and representatives

Cathy Peattie said:

“Every young person should have the right to quality training. I am very concerned that 19 local apprentices from the construction trades have lost their jobs in the past year. These young people are being deprived of the opportunity to train for the future in an industry that needs their skills.

“The SNP bear a heavy responsibility for this because they have turned off the tap of public sector investment and made the recession worse than it would otherwise have been. Skilled workers have been put out of work and families forced to struggle with smaller pay packets, or none at all, because the Scottish Government’s Futures Trust is not fit for purpose. We need to push the Scottish Government to get Scotland building again.”

NOTES

1. Garry Clark, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Construction remains in difficulties, and of particular concern is the apparent fall in the volume of public sector contracts. It underlines the need for the Scottish Futures Trust to rapidly expand its delivery of capital infrastructure projects throughout Scotland. In addition, there is a clear need for a strengthening of the programme to build more social and affordable housing to meet increasing demand.”

2. The value of new public investment projects reaching the stage where they can start construction has fallen by £800 million since the SNP came to power, according to the Infrastructure Investment Unit.

Year Value Reaching Financial Close
2006 £1128 million
2007 £1308
2008 £ 303
2009 £ 508
(Source: Scottish Parliament Information Centre)

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