Opinion – Campaign call to help our young get jobs

30/07/2013, TSPL, Scotsman, Michael Moore Secretary of State for Scotland: Speech on Scotland's future at the Wallace Suite, Carnegie Conference centre, Dunfermline.  Pic Ian Rutherford
30/07/2013, TSPL, Scotsman, Michael Moore Secretary of State for Scotland: Speech on Scotland's future at the Wallace Suite, Carnegie Conference centre, Dunfermline. Pic Ian Rutherford
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Jobs campaign

As local MP, I recently launched a jobs campaign to encourage businesses in the Borders to take on apprentices to help young people break into the job market.

Apprenticeships are a really effective way of tackling youth unemployment because they enable young people to develop the training, skills and experience they need to enter full-time paid employment. They also benefit businesses who gain value from the skilled staff they have trained.

To promote this campaign and see first hand what it’s like to work as an apprentice, I spent two afternoons shadowing apprentices last week. I spent one afternoon at D S Dalgleish and Son in Galashiels and another at Mainetti in Jedburgh, and both were extremely enjoyable experiences.

It was clear at both businesses that the apprentices are thoroughly enjoying their training and are a key part of the team.

Over the next few months I will be working with other local businesses and stakeholders to try and encourage more and more businesses to follow Mainetti and Dalgleish’s lead and take on apprentices.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact my office for more information.

Syria

I know everyone has been shocked and appalled by the pictures we have seen in recent months of human cost of the conflict between President Assad’s Government and the rebels in Syria. Adding to the Syrian people’s terrible suffering is the new evidence that chemical weapons have been used by the regime. As a result of this, the UK Parliament was recalled last week to vote on a motion to determine our response, as a country, to this terrible development in the conflict.

The UK Government believes that the use of chemical weapons by the regime means a red line has been crossed, as the weapons are banned under international law. The motion last week therefore condemned the use of these weapons, called for a strong humanitarian response and, if necessary, the use of military force to prevent and deter the use of chemical weapons in the country. It also welcomed the work of the UN weapons inspectors in Syria and outlined that every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any action is taken.

I voted for this motion because I believe that, working with the international community and the UN, we must stand against the use of such weapons and hold the perpetrators to account in the most appropriate way possible. I fully respect the decision by Parliament and, as the Prime Minister has made clear, we will continue to work with the UN and our allies to use all diplomatic means at our disposal to bring peace to the region.