Ministers announce 500 jobs for Scotland

Originally published in The Herald, 11/1/2010

Five hundred jobs are to be created in Scotland after a series of funding announcements made by the the Scottish and UK governments.

First Minister Alex Salmond said a £34 million European cash boost will bring 200 jobs and safeguard thousands more, while Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy announced 300 jobs will be created through the Future Jobs Fund.

Both ministers were at a national jobs summit in Glasgow, where additional support for apprentices was also unveiled.

Mr Salmond said the Scottish Government is using all of its “economic levers” to support people through the recession.

“This announcement of more than £34 million European funding will deliver vital support such as training opportunities to communities across Scotland, helping 28,000 individuals find fresh employment while assisting business growth, urban regeneration and rural development,” he said.

“This Government is committed to working with our partners in local authorities, enterprise networks, the voluntary sector, the business community, unions and colleges and universities to ensure that Scotland is an attractive environment for investment, with the skilled workforce and quality infrastructure required for success.

“Our Economic Recovery Plan has directly supported up to 15,000 jobs in the Scottish economy and this further investment will build on our efforts.”

The funding announced by the Scottish Government will come from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and, it is being said, will help 28,000 people stay in work or find new jobs after training and other support.

About 170 jobs will be created in the Highlands and Islands, which gets £18 million for 43 projects across the area, safeguarding 5,000 jobs.

A further £16 million will go to Community Planning Partnerships in Glasgow, Dundee, East Ayrshire, Fife, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian. The funding is to help 23,000 people find work and create 23 jobs.

The 300 new jobs unveiled by Mr Murphy will be for people in Fife and Argyll and Bute.

He said: “The signs are that Scotland is, thankfully, through the worst but things will still be difficult for many people and it’s absolutely imperative that we don’t allow unemployment to continue to rise in the same way as it did after previous recessions.

“That’s why we are here in Glasgow today to make sure that we continue to work together towards economic recovery as team Scotland.”

Education Secretary Mike Russell announced earlier today that some businesses in Scotland will each be offered £1,000 to take on an apprentice.

The Scottish Government has set aside £4 million to pay for the scheme, which will only run for about 10 weeks.

As many as 4,000 employers can take part.

Mr Russell, who is also at the summit, said: “This will benefit our hard-working companies and employers who continue to fight the effects of the recession.”