MSP Joan McAlpine is to meet the Economy Secretary to discuss plans for a new skills body for the South of Scotland.
Earlier this year Ms McAlpine welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement it would launch and economic and skills vehicle for the South of Scotland – something the MSP has been calling for over a number of years.
In her submission to the review on enterprise and skills agencies – which led to the announcement – the South Scotland MSP said a new body should be more focussed on supporting smaller companies, and helping to achieve community development as well as growth.
Now the MSP is keen to ensure these points are driven home and is delighted the Economy Secretary Keith Brown has agreed to a meeting.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“I am pleased that the points I made in the skills review have been taken on board, and I’m keen to make these points in person to the Cabinet Secretary.
“Despite the fact that many enterprise functions were devolved to the local council by the SNP government, it was becoming clear that the set-up really wasn’t working for Dumfries and Galloway.
“Our region is fantastically unique but that comes with its own economic and social challenges. You only have to look at how rural areas up north under the supervision of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise – with its community development functions – have benefitted from targeted European and other investment to imagine how our region could thrive.
“The new skills body really is fantastic news, and something that I have been championing for a number of years – I’m really keen to ensure that we get it right and am looking forward to discussing the details with the Cabinet Secretary.”