Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride, is delighted at the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Government has successfully delivered its commitment to support 25,000 new apprenticeship starts in 2011/12. This is a record number of new Modern Apprenticeships starts in a single year and confirms delivery of the first year of the commitment to provide 25,000 apprenticeship opportunities in each year of the current Parliament.
Linda said “I am extremely pleased to be part of a government that has delivered on our commitment to offer 25,000 new apprenticeship opportunities in 2011/12. The modern apprenticeship programme provides a superb opportunity to support young people into work with training which meets the needs of our businesses. To be able to support these opportunities on such a scale is something of which this government is incredibly proud.
“The Scottish Government and its partners are determined that Scotland will capitalise on our rich natural resources that will provide our young people with exciting and prosperous future opportunities. The energy sector gives us the opportunity to lift the country out of the economic downturn and put in place the industrial structures that will keep us at the forefront of this essential technological field for decades to come. This is exactly what is happening at Nigg where Global Energy Group (GEG) are creating a service hub for the energy industry and have established a skills academy with support from a range of public agencies. This is a great example of what can be achieved for communities and employers in the Scotland, with GEG set to take on 290 apprentices in the first year of the academy.
“We set a target to deliver 25,000 Modern Apprentices in 2011/12 – the largest number ever and 60 per cent more than the number available in 2006/07. Having reached this ambitious target I am confident we will continue to deliver at least 25,000 new starts in each of the four remaining years of this Parliament. This kind of investment will build the future economic strength of our country by delivering high quality workplace skills to our talented young people that Scotland always has to offer.
“The £415 million construction project to upgrade key sections of the M8, M73 and M74 will be a driver in boosting the country’s economy. In these difficult economic times providing hundreds of jobs in the hard-pressed construction industry plays a key part in delivering our vision of a wealthier, fairer and better connected Scotland.
“Completing the M74 directly supported 900 construction jobs and it is expected this project to be of a similar scale.
“Completing the central motorway network will deliver direct economic savings to businesses and individuals through improved transport links and reduced journey times, it will also bring significant benefits from improved road safety, the opportunity to improve accessibility and reduce the number of accidents.
“With construction costs of £415 million at today’s prices the successful contractor will be required to deliver on the job training for apprentices and local employment opportunities, further boosting the nation’s economy under a community benefit clause.
“Scotland’s motorways are the beating heart of Scotland’s economy, connecting businesses and communities with each other, getting people to their jobs and goods to the marketplace and this project will deliver real improvements for people across the central belt and beyond.”