#AskFabiani – Graduate employment and help for students

Question:

What will the SNP do to help new graduates find work, especially in relation to teacher numbers, the environment, green jobs and student debt?

Answer:

To coincide with the STUC conference the SNP spelled out some of the things a re-elected SNP Government will do to help Scots acquire and use the skills we need for the future.

This included measures to help Scots of all backgrounds and ages take advantage of the jobs and opportunities in the new economy that must emerge from this recession.

We are committed to supporting 25,000 apprenticeships a year for the next five years in partnership with public, private, and voluntary sector employers across the country.

We will also provide 25,000 training for work places through our Youth Employment Scotland scheme and 50,000 college bursaries.

We will increase training opportunities for the unemployed, low paid or people from deprived areas by working with the STUC, the third sector and community planning partnerships to identify the gaps in people’s skills and opportunities in the work place

These initiatives will ensure that young people who are not going into higher education are able to get the skills and qualifications they need for existing and new industries.

For graduates, we will:

  • Introduce a graduate apprenticeship in key areas – science, creative industries, life sciences – to build links between businesses, students, and our universities. Ths will allow students to earn as they learn and build skills directly linked to the work place.
  • We will take steps to boost e-skills, supporting 750 students from universities and colleges to work in IT companies and gain hands on work experience.
  • We will work with colleges, universities, and businesses to connect a network of green skills academies increasing training in Scotland’s growth industry.
  • On teacher numbers, we have acted to bring the number of trainee teachers back into balance. For 2011, the budget deal with councils guarantees enough teaching posts for every new teacher and enough posts to reduce existing teacher unemployment.
  • We are tackling student debt by maintaining the principle of access to education by ability to learn, not ability to pay. We are also working towards a minimum student income of £7,000 a year.

On teacher numbers, post-2007, local authorities received the funding to maintain teacher numbers, but some failed to do so; with Labour controlled councils cutting almost two-thirds of the teaching posts lost. Almost a quarter (23%) of all posts were lost in just one council – Glasgow – which reduced teacher numbers by 660 posts. With Glasgow’s poor educational record, you have to wonder if the cut was made on good educational grounds.

For more information on what a re-elected SNP Government would do for Jobseekers, see here.

For more information on what a re-elected SNP Government would do for Students, see here.

Linda Fabiani
April 2011

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