Angus MP Kirstene Hair has today (Sunday) called for a radical overhaul of future education in Scotland to ensure that more young people get the most out of their education in Scotland.
Speaking at a conference fringe event in Manchester chaired by Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, the Scottish Conservative MP urged the Scottish Government to encourage more pupils to look at apprenticeships as a positive way to enter the working world.
With 2.7% of 18-24 year olds claiming unemployment benefits in the UK and 3.8% in Scotland, Ms Hair has raised the issue of education outcomes in Angus as claimant rates in the constituency are well above both national averages at 4.7%.
She has urged the Scottish Government to offer young people more apprenticeships and to move away from seeing university degrees as the best positive outcome for school leavers.
Since 2010, apprenticeships in Scotland have only increased by 31% compared to 82% of new apprenticeships in England, that equals less than 200,000 in Scotland with over 3 million in England.
Commenting, Ms Hair said, “I am determined that we radically transform our offering to young people – and a key part of that is ensuring that we offer all our young people the chance to get on in life.
“We cannot understate the importance of apprenticeships, providing the key skills to the next generation that will ensure we have a balanced economy and offering school leavers here in Angus the prospect of supporting themselves and their families.
“That’s why it is so disappointing that the SNP haven’t made the same progress that Conservatives in Westminster have in delivering education opportunities for those whose future is not best served with a university degree.
“Businesses across Angus are crying out for skilled young people – whether that’s agriculture, engineering or manufacturing – and it is high time that the SNP in Edinburgh delivered for young people who want to build their careers outside of university.