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Scotland Must Choose Its Own Future If All Attempts To Compromise Rejected

Yesterday The Prime Minister made it clear the UK is heading for an economically disastrous hard Brexit.

Nearly seven months since the referendum – the Scottish Government is still the only administration to publish a detailed plan on how to deal with Brexit and the economic, social, democratic and cultural risks associated with it.

Scotland voted overwhelming to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government is doing all it can to make sure the Tories cannot ignore and act against Scotland’s interests.

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Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

 

“Theresa May today confirmed that she plans to take the UK towards an economically dangerous hard Brexit. The Prime Minister has chosen to pander to the obsessions of the hard-right of her Tory party, rather than act in the best interests of the country.

 

“Today’s speech made it clear she’s looking at  replacing our membership of the single market with a low wage, de-regulated economy that would see a race to the bottom – leaving everyone worse off as a result.

 

“If the Tories get away with dragging Scotland out of the EU and the Single Market they’ll think they can get away with anything.

 

“The Scottish Government has published compromise proposals that will keep Scotland in the Single Market and the Tories at Westminster must now show they are taking these plans seriously.

 

“The  Tory government must not be able to take Scotland out of the EU and the single market, regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs, living standards and our reputation as an open, tolerant country, without Scotland having the ability to choose between that and a better future.”

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes Fall in Number of Teenage Pregnacies

Drop in Renfrewshire Part of Nationwide PictureGeorge in Paisley Town Centre

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the fall in the number of teenage pregnancies across Renfrewshire, following the release of latest figures by the Information Services Division.

 

The number of people under 16 who became pregnant in Renfrewshire between 2012 and 2014 has dropped from 39 to 34.

 

Commenting on the figures, George said: “These latest figures show a welcome drop in the number of teens becoming pregnant across Renfrewshire – and reflect the dedicated work of education, health and community services.

 

“The Scottish Government published its ‘pregnancy and parenthood in young people’ strategy in March, aimed at addressing the fundamental causes of pregnancy in young people by considering wider factors that are central in supporting young people – such as education, attainment, training and employment.

 

“This work will continue – with a focus on ensuring services are putting young people at the centre of decision making and helping them to reach their potential as individuals, and where appropriate, as parents.”

New St Fergus School

George outside Paisley Town Hall

Renfrewshire will receive a share of £230 million from the Scottish Government to replace St Fergus Primary school in the town’s Ferguslie Park.

The £230 million investment, part of the final phase of the £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme, will take the overall number of schools being delivered across Scotland to 112.

Since the Schools for the Future programme began it has created an estimated 11,000 construction jobs and 230 apprenticeships.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“This SNP government is working hard to improve educational standards across the country to make sure that every child in Scotland has the ability to achieve their potential. Part of that is making sure children have the right physical environment to learn in.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for Renfrewshire. The new primary school will be a fantastic, modern building that pupils, teachers and the whole community will enjoy for generations to come.

“There were a lot scare stories and nonsense about the project but I’m sure everyone will get together to back the building of the school with funding from the Scottish Government.

“Since 2007, we have worked with local authorities to rebuild or refurbish 607 schools, resulting in the number of children educated in ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ condition schools falling by 60 per cent.

“In addition to the educational benefits of the new school, it will also provide a boost to the local economy, creating many construction jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

 

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.

Supporting Scotland ’s Children

George town hall landscape

Paisley Sees Modern Apprenticeships Rise Since 2007

Paisley’s MSP George Adam is marking UN World Youth Skills Day by highlighting figures showing that the number of people on Modern Apprenticeships has grown by almost 60 per cent since the SNP came to office in 2007 – and repeating calls for powers over the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland to allow action on fair pay for apprentices.George town hall landscape

An analysis of figures from Skills Development Scotland shows the number of Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland has risen from 15,803 in 2007/08 to 25,247 in 2014/15 – an increase of 59.7 per cent. The SNP in government has exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year since 2011/12 – and has increased the target to 30,000 a year by 2020.

The current minimum wage for apprentices is £2.73 per hour – while under plans put forward by the SNP at the General Election, the rate would have risen to £6.86 by 2020.
Commenting, George said:

“These very welcome figures highlight a key success of the SNP in government – with the number of Modern Apprenticeships in Renfrewshire rising by almost 47.9 per cent since 2007/08 and more young people being given an opportunity to get into work, learn a skill and secure a better future.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of the SNP in government’s successful youth employment strategy – and the Scottish Government has exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year since 2011/12. This target is set to increase to 30,000 by 2020.

“Over the past few years, I have met with many modern apprentices in Paisley who are really benefiting from learning while working and receiving a wage.

“However, it is simply wrong that due to the discriminatory regulations of the UK Government, many apprentices could find themselves earning less than £3 per hour. In the recent budget, we seen another attack on young people from the Westminster Government, removing the ability of anyone under the age of 21 from claim for housing benefit. How can you afford a flat if you are earning less than £3 an hour.

“It’s imperative that we can continue to attract more young people into the Modern Apprentice programme – and that they aren’t put off by the disincentive of low pay. That’s why it is absolutely vital that powers to tackle low pay are devolved to Scotland.

“The SNP’s record in supporting and empowering our young people is second to none – and with powers over the minimum wage in Scotland’s hands rather than in George Osborne’s we can take further action to deliver a fairer wage for apprentices and ensure that they have all the support they need to succeed.”

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20,000 two year olds now eligible for free early learning and childcare

Around 20,000 two year olds are now eligible for funded early learning and childcare, parents and carers have been reminded to take up a place for their child.
The entitlement to 600 hours of annual funded early learning and childcare has been extended to two year olds from low income households. This comes into effect from August and adds to the entitlement for all three and four year olds and around 15 per cent of two year olds.George high street

Acting Minister for Children Fiona McLeod reminded parents of eligible children to register for their funded places as she met staff and children at Dens Nursery in Dundee.

Speaking on the announcement, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “Through my work in the Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood, I am all too aware of how vital is that we get it right during the early years of a child’s life. This is especially true for more vulnerable or disadvantaged children and I’m pleased they will be able to benefit from this extra provision.

“This is not simply about childcare; it is about ensuring all three and four year olds and those two year olds who would benefit the most, have access to high quality early learning and education in a nurturing environment. This will allow them to develop vital skills including literacy and numeracy from an early age.

“I’m encouraging all parents and carers to check if their child is eligible for funded early learning and childcare and register now so they can get their place in the autumn term. Our local council has been provided with the tools by the Scottish Government to make a dramatic difference in the early years of our children’s’ life’s and I will be watching closely to ensure these tools are used to their fullest.”

A public information campaign with advice for parents and carers on the eligibility criteria for funded early learning and childcare will begin next month.

The Scottish Government has committed £329 million to expand funded early learning and childcare for all three and four year olds and the 27% most disadvantaged 2-year-olds (around 20,000) to 600 hours from August 2014 over two years.

The Scottish Government has expanded funded hours by 45 per cent since 2007 – an increase worth up to £707 per child per year. They have set out our plans to go further by increasing provision from 16 hours a week to 30 hours a week by the end of the next parliament.

More information about eligibility criteria and local provision is available on the Scottish Families website: www.scottishfamilies.gov.uk