Skills – Apprenticeships – Jobs
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Gordon Brown joined up with Fife Council Labour leader Alex Rowley on a visit to Kirkcaldy YMCA today as they launched the Fife Labour economic manifesto.
Mr Brown and Mr Rowley had met with a group of young people from the YMCA a number of months ago to discuss the issues for young people trying to get training and work and returned to set out the programme Labour will adopt in Fife Council after Mays elections.
Labour say that more of the money needs to be focused directly with employers who can offer apprenticeship and training places and have committed to spend £5 million in the first three years on a new employer apprenticeship and training programme. Alex Rowley said; “There are too many training schemes that spend more on administration and bureaucracy than they do on the people they are meant to be helping. We will work directly with employers and support them in the first years of the apprenticeship and training places. We will then free up the millions more spent on training within the council and refocus that on the employer apprenticeship and training scheme”.
Labour have also recognised the need for a review of procurement policy and procedure within the council and say they will build into council contracts local labour agreements, community benefit clauses, local purchasing agreements, local training agreements that will all support Fife companies to win contracts from the council. Mr Rowley said; “Fife Council spends millions of pounds a year giving out contracts to companies and too many Fife companies never get near the work. This has to change and I make no apologies for saying we will do everything we can to make sure that more Fife companies get support to access Fife Council work and by doing so give Fife people Fife jobs”.
Labour also highlight what they call key sectors for the Fife economy such as renewable, tourism, construction and retail and say there must be more focus to drive these sectors. They also state that the arts and creative industries are not being exploited to their full potential.
Gordon Brown said; “Youth unemployment has risen putting hundreds of young people out of work. Urgent measures are needed in Fife to get young people linked to jobs, apprenticeships and new training”.
He continued; “These young people in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and throughout Fife are asking for a fair deal, good quality training and apprenticeships that will equip them for their future and get them into work. The measures being outlined today are practical steps that will support young people into skills and jobs”.