Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed the Scottish Government Skills Strategy updated to cope with the difficult economic times.
Speaking after the announcement by Education Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Mr Gibson said that the updated strategy had the added benefits of improving young people's chances and self esteem as well as helping the wider economy.
He also highlighted the chances that could be available to the Highlands and Islands….
"Young people and those in fear of losing their jobs want to see a clear route to new and rewarding work. That's why the approach of the SNP Government is so welcome. In the past 18 months the Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop has met with all sections of the skill sectors and industry. Her skills utilisation leadership group is a good example. It includes Microsoft First Scotrail and BT.
"I want to see companies in the Highlands and Islands and those that serve us from outside the region like BT to identify training needs and projects that can compete for Scottish British and EU cash in the economic recovery plans."
"A good example for the North is to roll out fire optic cables to enable high speed broadband to leapfrog onto the super speed new services already enjoyed in London and more particularly in other countries of the EU and Far East. It is time that a local jobs summit was convened by HIE to complement their own recovery advice."
"My recent broadband consultation was welcomed by BT officials at a cross party meeting earlier this week. However the need for public support to achieve full coverage of acceptable broadband speeds in the north and islands will need public support. Alongside this identifying trainees and installers has to begin right now."
"Scotland needs a competitive chance to use our knowledge economy on a world scale. If we don't have full broadband services that will be stillborn. The Scottish Government wants a better outcome. That does not mean cuts in public spending a London Labour demands. It does mean borrowing and supporting a leap forward in job prospects in the North."
Contact Rob 0787 967 4335
Gibson calls for whisky duty cut
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called for a 2.5% cut in whisky duty to help stimulate the Scottish economy.
Mr Gibson was commenting after independent economic consultant GEN said that a 2.5% cut could have release £733 million into the Scottish economy. Double the benefit of the equivalent cut in VAT which was put in place at the last Pre-Budget Report.
Mr Gibson said....
"The whisky industry throughout the Highlands and Islands is of great importance not only to the local economy but to that of the Nation also. It helps support jobs and create positive economic circumstances in remote and rural areas which often really needs it."
"A cut would have the dual benefits of bolstering flagging treasury funds whilst helping to protect local jobs thus strengthen small communities which work hard to produce this valuable product."
"Therefore it is incumbent on government to support the industry. However instead of cutting the duty Chancellor Alasdair Darling was set to increase duty last year . It was only the SNP that forced him to back down."
"The benefits to the industry of a cut in duty cannot be ignored and so it is up to the Scotland Office and Labour in Scotland to join with the SNP and call for a cut to help stimulate the local and national economy."