Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed the news of an economic boost to East Kilbride with the latest announcement from Samsung.
Linda said “No doubt people will have heard a lot of scaremongering stories claiming that investment in Scotland is somehow being held back while we decide our constitutional future. In fact the statistics prove that if anything the opposite is the case and we are seeing a lot of investment in the Scottish economy from a wide range of international partners.
“New research by Cardiff Business School found that Scotland attracted an average of nine per cent of all new UK inward investment projects between 2005-10 – far above other parts of the UK including the North West of England which ranked in second position, with 6.8%. This well and truly scotches the myths peddled by the anti-independence parties and shows that the Scottish economy remains in better shape than the UK as a whole.
“This shows yet more international investment in Scottish industry at a time when some quarters of the unionist movement are talking down Scotland’s economic viability. Given the scale of investment we have seen in recent times it is clear that Scotland is still regarded as a very attractive place to invest in a whole host of industries.
“Our growing renewable sector has got a massive boost by the announcement that Samsung are investing £100 million and creating 500 skilled jobs at the Fife Energy Park based in Methil. The South Korean industrial giant is to establish its first European offshore wind base in Scotland, developing the world’s largest ever offshore wind turbines.
“This brings good news locally as it has been announced that an essential component of this new technology will be developed and manufactured in East Kilbride. The gearbox systems for the next generation offshore wind turbines will be supplied under a multi-million-pound deal with East Kilbride-based David Brown Gear Systems, a division of engineering company Clyde Blowers.
“The First Minister described the Samsung announcement as a major boost for Scotland that will “substantially reinforce” Scotland’s growing reputation as the prime place in Europe for the offshore renewable industry to locate and develop. I am proud to see that despite being a good few miles from the sea, East Kilbride is able to play a key part in this exciting new industry.
“I think that despite the continuing global financial problems there is plenty to be optimistic in what is shaping up as a real period of opportunity in Scotland. That is why I am proud to be part of a government that is providing 25,000 modern apprenticeship opportunities in 2011/12, and for each year of the current parliament.
“This is a record number for Scotland and the majority are targeted at young people as we work together to build a fairer and more prosperous Scotland for tomorrow. We are also providing Education Maintenance Allowances (EMA) to 16-19 year olds from low income households to keep them engaged in learning.
“Building on this, the Scottish Government continues to make every effort to improve the already strong rates of young Scots in education and employment. Our rates of unemployment in the 16-24 age group is compares favourably to the rest of the UK with many of the young Scots seeking work in education so learning valuable skills.
“Although we would like more powers devolved to Scotland to improve the lives of our young people even further, we are committed to doing everything we can to protect Scotland from the kind of ‘lost generation’ that was the legacy of the last Conservative UK government.”