Nicola Sturgeon announced her Programme for Government today with education and attainment right at its heart. The statement made at the parliament today looks beyond this year to the long term. The statement included information on some of the limited powers the Scottish Parliament will receive including small areas of welfare.
During her announcement the First Minister stated:
‘We will continue to invest in skills. We will spend £16 million this year to support the implementation of our youth employment strategy. Priorities include better careers advice in schools, higher quality work placements, a closer relationship between schools and business and an expansion of foundation apprenticeships.
We will also continue to increase the overall number of apprenticeships from 25,000 to 30,000 a year by 2020.’
Speaking on the details provided by the First Minister, George Adam, Paisley’s MSP said:
‘Looking to the future and ensuring we have the skills to make Scotland the country we want it to be is obviously the First Minister’s priority.
The reduction in Air Passenger Duty will help Paisley and every business that uses Glasgow Airport.
We have been given extra powers from Westminster but they are carefully limited.
We will abolish the bedroom tax; We will invest more that £100 million to mitigate the cuts coming from Westminster, hitting those most in need including those that receive Working Tax Credit.
More importantly we will be investing in the younger generation.
Two year olds from families with low incomes will receive 600 hours of childcare.
The Attainment Fund will provide £100 million to reduce the educational differences between children from different backgrounds.
These are measures about investment for our future, not short term fixes. Equality and Fairness is at the heart of everything the SNP stands for and I’m sure that the announcement made today will go far in ensuring it is delivered.’