Local politicians meet with skills agency to discuss support for people and businesses in the Borders

Local politicians have met with representatives from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the national skills agency, to discuss what can be done to support people and businesses in the Borders.

John Lamont MP and Rachael Hamilton MSP met with Borders Area Manager, Margot Crosbie and PACE Team Leader Colin Henderson today (Wednesday 30th August). Discussions covered how to improve the quality of jobs in the Borders, what could be done to close the skills gap in key sectors like construction and social care, and how to improve collaboration between schools and employers. The group also discussed support for older workers.

SDS have offices in Hawick and Galashiels and provide support to those seeking work, training or apprenticeships, skills advice to businesses and provide support for those facing redundancy.

Rachael Hamilton MSP said: “Our meeting with the Skills Development Scotland team in Hawick was incredibly useful”

“In the Borders, I want to see the skills gaps narrowed, especially in nursing, medicine, construction and social care.

“Not everyone is suited to University, we need to do more to promote vocational routes into employment. I was encouraged by the work SDS were doing in the Borders to promote apprenticeships and I will make sure the Scottish Government commit to providing more of them. I will also push the SNP government to reverse the damaging cuts to college places we have seen over the last few years.”

John Lamont MP said: “Bringing high quality jobs to the Borders must be one of the priorities for the area, which is why I was pleased to meet with staff at Skills Development Scotland.

“While the majority of our young people leave school to go on to either further education or training, a small minority need support and we have an above average number of young job seekers in the Borders.

“Employers are also saying that youngsters are not always leaving schools with the right skills set for work. Schools and businesses can work better together to ensure that this skills gap is addressed and I look forward to working with SDS to ensure this happens.”