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School Leavers Across Renfrewshire Heading For Work Or Study

Derek MacKay MSP, George Adam MSP, Gavin Newlands MP

More Young People Setting Up For Success After School

 

School leavers in Renfrewshire continue to go on to positive destinations after finishing secondary school – with the latest figures showing 92.8% of youngsters in Renfrewshire going into further or higher education, employment or training three months after leaving school.

 

The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3% last year to 93.7% this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.

 

In Renfrewshire, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 92.2% last year to 92.8% this year – and increased from 88.1% since 2011/12.

 

Of those in positive destinations, 45% are at University and 23% are at college, while 21% are in employment and 3% are in training.

 

Commenting on the latest stats, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The Scottish Government continues to make education its priority this parliament – and these figures reflect just how important SNP action on education is for our young people.

 

“Being able to go on to a positive destination after leaving school – whether that is college, university, work or training – is a great boost for young people across Renfrewshire, improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.

 

“That more young people across Renfrewshire are going on to positive destinations this year than previously – up from 88.1% to 92.8% over the last six years – is fantastic news for our local community.

 

“Our young people need fulfilling work, study or training after leaving school to help ensure they don’t get left behind – and these positive figures for Renfrewshire and across Scotland show that they are benefitting from exactly that.”

 

 

 

 

 

George town hall landscape

Excellence and Success on Results Day

George Town HallAround 136,000 students across Scotland have received their results for a wide range of SQA qualifications including National 5, Highers and SQA Awards; with the number of Higher passes exceeding 150,000 for the third year in a row. The number of skills-based awards has also more than doubled in the past five years, growing from 24,849 in 2012, to 50,148 this year.

George Adam, Paisley’s MSP said, ‘The whole country should be proud of the qualifications gained by Scotland’s young people. The amount of Higher passes achieved by students from across the country is outstanding and we should be very pleased for our hardworking children and teachers. I am also delighted to see the successes achieved in the skills-based awards, and am in no doubt that many of our young people will now go on and showcase these skills in the workplace or future learning development.’

Additionally, more students from deprived backgrounds have successfully gained a place at university according to UCAS statistics published today. The UCAS figures show the number of prospective students from the 20% most deprived areas – SIMD 20 – successfully getting a place at university has risen by 13% to record levels. Since 2015, it has increased from 3,470 to 4,150 – a rise of 20%. This comes as the total number of students from Scotland getting a place at a Scottish university hit a new record of 27,830. The figures, produced by UCAS each year to coincide with the release of Scottish exam results, mark the latest progress in the Scottish Government’s drive to widen access to higher education.

George Adam said, ‘I am delighted to see the vast amount of students gaining places at University – this is a testament to the hard work of our young people and those working tirelessly in the teaching profession. With The University of the West Scotland on my doorstep, I see for myself the excellent work they do and frequently talk to students who are enjoying studying and developing their skills at UWS. The opportunities our young people now have are endless and it is encouraging to see that so many, regardless of background, are working hard and seizing every one that comes their way.’

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes £4,248,000 Boost For Renfrewshire Schools

Schools in Renfrewshire will benefit from a £4,248,000 funding boost as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to improve standards in schools, it has been revealed.

 

The share each school is due to receive from the Scottish Government’s new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund has been revealed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

 

49 primaries and 11 secondaries across Renfrewshire are set to receive additional support worth thousands of pounds. It will be up to teachers and school leaders to decide the best way of using the funding to close the poverty related attainment gap in their schools.

 

russell instituteWelcoming the announcement, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:


“Every child in Scotland should have the best possible start in life, and it is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside their control.

 

“The SNP in government has made closing the poverty-related attainment gap our number one priority, and our new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund is aimed at doing just that – supporting 49 primaries and 11 secondaries in Renfrewshire.

 

“This new announcement will let parents, teachers and school leaders in Renfrewshire see how much funding they can expect to drive up standards and tackle the inter-generational cycle of deprivation in their school.”

 

Public Audit Committee Debate: Overview of Scotland’s Colleges 2015; 2012-13 Audit of North Glasgow College and 2013-14 Audit of Coatbridge College

George outside Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall, underneath Glasgow Airport's Flightpath

Employment Hits Record High as Scotland Outperforms UK

New figures showing employment in Scotland at a record high and outperforming the UK have been welcomed, as the SNP in government gets on with the job of boosting Scotland’s economy.

Figures show that the employment level in Scotland has risen to 2,631,000 – and the employment rate has grown to 74.9 per cent, the highest rate of the four UK nations, and outperforms the UK as a whole. The new figures also show that youth unemployment in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level since 2006.

In further good economic news for Scotland, new figures show that manufacturing exports to overseas markets grew by 2.4 per cent in the year to Q3 2015.George outside Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall, underneath Glasgow Airport's Flightpath

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:

“These are very encouraging figures showing employment at a record high – with Scotland outperforming every other nation in the UK as the SNP continues to use every economic lever at our disposal to create jobs and support people back into work.

“The figures on youth employment are particularly welcome – it’s vital that we do everything we can to ensure that our young people are empowered to reach their full potential, and today’s figures show that we are on the right track. There have been a number of business in Paisley opening in recent months which can only bode well for the local employment rate. We also have two iconic local buildings being refurbished, the Russell Institute and the former Arnotts building, which both when finished will increase job opportunities and further boost our local economy.

“While this progress across the country is very welcome, there is more work to be done – and over the coming weeks and months the SNP will lead an ambitious, national debate focussed on building on this progress and keep Scotland’s economy moving forward, with the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and an SNP government delivering for Scotland.”

SNP Depute Leader and Westminster Economy spokesperson Stewart Hosie added:

“The SNP in government is doing everything we can with the powers at our disposal to support more people into work – and we can’t allow this progress to be held back by a Tory government at Westminster obsessed with austerity.

“It’s time for George Osborne and David Cameron to learn some lessons from the approach of the SNP in government – and abandon their ideological commitment to austerity and use every means at their disposal to invest and create jobs.”

Further details can be found here.

Record Higher Education Figures

George parliamentThe number of Higher Education students studying full time for recognised qualifications at colleges has grown by 22 per cent since 2008-09.

Figures published today by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) on college performance show that in 2014-15, 23,717 students successfully completed such courses at that level, the highest ever number.

Successful full-time Further Education course completion is also 5.2 percentage points higher than in 2008-09, while there were 119,078 funded full time equivalent students at college last year, over 3,000 more than the Scottish Government target of 116,000.

Figures also released today by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show there has been more Scottish-domiciled full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities compared to last year.

Overall enrolments at Scottish institutions are up one per cent, compared to a two per cent drop in England. First degree qualifiers from Scottish universities are comparable to last year, compared to a seven per cent drop in England.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

‘Changes in our college system are paying off.  Concentrating on courses which produce recognised qualifications are important.  It provides standards that are easily understood by employers enabling students to develop and grow within their chosen fields.

‘This is all part of the government’s focus on creating and supporting courses, increasing the time spent in college, producing students that are prepared for life and their career.

‘In the past this was not always the case.  Students must be allowed to study in their chosen field but we must never forget the skills that are needed in our local communities must have a place within the education system.

‘These figures are very positive and we must be vigilant to ensure this progress continues.’

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said:

“2015 was a landmark year for Scotland’s young people. A record 34,775 Scots-domiciled students were accepted to university. School and college leaver destinations have been very positive, and figures in December showed that youth employment was at its highest August to October level since 2008.

“A year ago we were also looking at record rates of successful completion in our colleges and today’s figures show continuing high standards across the board, particularly when compared to 2008-09. The ambitious changes in our college system continue to bed in following a period of intensive reform and will ensure colleges are focused on our economic growth.

“Compared to 2007, the number of learning hours delivered to students with a disability has increased considerably, as have the average hours of learning per student and learning hours delivered on courses leading to a recognised qualification. We have also once again comfortably exceeded targets on full time equivalent college student numbers.

“These figures suggest that our reforms are working and that more students successfully completed full-time courses leading to recognised qualifications that would lead to additional study or to relevant training or work.

“Today’s university student numbers back up last month’s record UCAS figures and complement our continuing delivery of free tuition for Scottish undergraduate students, sparing them from the additional debt incurred by having to pay fees.

“When compared to a two per cent drop in English domiciled enrolments at English universities and a seven per cent drop in first degree qualifiers in England, the HESA figures clearly show a strong performance for students in Scotland. As highlighted in last month’s draft budget, we will continue to invest heavily in further and higher education to ensure Scotland remains a word class place to study.”

Students Standing in Solidarity Against Unfair Tory Policies

UK Government Must Re-think “Wrong-headed” Post-study Work Visa Ban

The SNP has today reiterated its call for the UK Government to abandon its regressive, anti-immigration policies and to restore the post-study work visa – as students in Scotland take part in a day of solidarity with international students.

SNP MSP George Adam has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament to recognise today as a day of solidarity with international students – and demanding a new evidence-based approach from the UK Government.

The Scottish Government has consistently made the case for the re-introduction of the post-study work visa – which allows international graduates to continue to contribute to Scotland’s economy and society after their studies. This has been backed by each of Scotland’s colleges and by organisations and businesses across Scotland.

George Adam MSP

Commenting, Mr Adam said:

“The Tory’s regressive, wrong-headed approach to immigration is threatening Scotland’s reputation as a place to study and work – and I am pleased to see students in Scotland standing in solidarity with their international friends and colleagues against the unfair approach of the UK Government.

“But by scrapping the post-study work visa, this Tory government is essentially telling highly skilled foreign graduates that they are not welcome to continue contributing to our country – which isn’t just morally wrong, but is incredibly harmful to our economy.

“The case for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa is unanswerable. The UK Government must urgently rethink its flawed approach and make clear that Scotland is open for business – and that we welcome the outstanding and continuing contribution our international students can make to our economy and our society.”

Below is the parliamentary motion yesterday lodged by George. 

That the Parliament recognises 17th November as the NUS International Students’ Campaign Day of Solidarity; notes that the campaign expresses dissatisfaction with the UK Government’s immigration policies and their impact on international students; wishes the students well in their expression of solidarity and reiterates its call for the UK Government to abandon its negative attitude towards immigration which it considers is harmful to Scotland socially and economically, and to re-introduce the post-study work visa.