The support event, which was organised by the Scottish Government’s initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), took place in Dumfries on Wednesday 17th July at the Best Western Station Hotel on Lovers Walk.
People who are facing redundancy in the wake of the company going into administration were able to hear about the help and support which is available to them through PACE and other sources. Similar events have since been held in Stranraer and Ayr.
Those who attended the event in Dumfries were a mixture of people including some whose contracts had already been terminated, some people who were still working for the company, and others who had handed in their notices having secured alternative employment.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) leads on the delivery of PACE support in conjunction with a number of key partners including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Speaking about the closure and the support available to those affected, Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“The closure of Border Cars is very regrettable indeed and is a blow to several communities.
“My sympathies are with the workers who are affected by redundancy or job insecurity, and their families.
“I was pleased, however, to see the government respond so promptly with these PACE events, which are designed to support workers move forward. I would encourage anyone who is facing difficulty or insecurity as a result of this closure to get in touch with Skills Development Scotland on 0800 917 8000 or by popping into their office on the High St. in Dumfries.”
The Scottish Child Payment will give eligible families £10 a week for every child under 16 by the end of 2022. For a family with two children under the age of 16 this is an additional £1,000 a year. It makes Scotland the only part of the UK to introduce an extra payment for the children of low income families..
The payment will be introduced early for all families with children under six. 170,000 children will benefit from early introduction which will start in early 2021. This is a more than a year earlier than the timescale outlined in the Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
Scotland is the only UK country to have set statutory income targets to end child poverty in the Child Poverty Act, with the Scottish Government also having brought forward its Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan. The Scottish Government has already spent £527 million across all government policies to support low income families with children.
Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“This new benefit shows that the SNP committed to helping people in Scotland, and to tackling the alarming levels of child poverty. The SCP will go some way towards mitigating against continuing benefit cuts from the UK Government. If we didn’t have those UK Government cuts pushing families into poverty, the Scottish Child Payment could do much more and have more reach.
“UK benefit cuts will be an annual £3.7 billion in Scotland by next year. We cannot stand by and let that happen. We need more powers to ensure we are not fighting poverty with one hand tied behind our back. Where the Scottish Government do have powers, we will use them to do things differently.
“Already the SNP Government are making a real difference to thousands of families across Scotland with the new Best Start Grant, increases to the value of the School Clothing Grant, nearly doubling funded provision of Early Learning and Childcare, and delivery of 50,000 warm and affordable homes.”
South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has backed a new plan to ensure Dumfries & Galloway has the skills and training to keep young people in the region and ensure future prosperity.
She made her comments after attending an event to promote the Regional Skills Investment Plan of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, which was unveiled in the college in Dumfries on Monday.
The new plan has a focus is on communities, farming, fishing, forestry, rural high streets and land management. It has a strong emphasis on young people with plans to provide more employment opportunities and work-based learning offers for school leavers and graduates.
Commenting Ms McAlpine says
“The Regional Skills Investment Plan is good news for the South of Scotland and it’s great to see the economic partnership making so much progress already.
“Improving digital and transport connectivity and increasing access to education, skills and training will help meet the needs of local employers and hopefully enable more of our youngsters to stay in the region instead of moving away.
The plan, which has been developed alongside Skills Development Scotland, has been the culmination of twelve months of partnership working with organisations, employers, parents and young people across the region. It aims to contribute to the economic growth of the south of Scotland by providing a greater choice of career opportunities for young people while offering more opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to the current workforce.
Ms McAlpine continued:
“The approach to partnership working is impressive and should ensure the successful delivery of the plan in the coming years. I can’t praise the members, stakeholders and other contributors highly enough for their achievements.
“While Brexit is unresolved there’s still a lot of uncertainty hanging over the region so it’s reassuring to see a well thought out, realistic strategy to unlock the full potential of the South of Scotland economy.”
Image attached : from left to right, Joan McAlpine MSP, Chris Brodie, SOSEP Board Member, Amanda Burgauer, SOSEP Board Member
A copy of the Regional Skills Investment Plan can be downloaded here :
Delivered through Scottish Natural Heritage, the fund will support large-scale projects across Scotland that aim to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.
2 of the 14 projects to have secured funding over the next two years will operate in Dumfries and Galloway. The two projects, which both deal with restorative work on the breath-taking ecological system in South Scotland, include:
Commenting, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“It’s great news for Dumfries and Galloway that thanks to the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund these fantastic projects on our coast and in our forested areas will receive funding to protect some of the most vulnerable species and habitats in the area.
“The success of these projects, and others like them across Scotland, will play a vital role in helping us meet our biodiversity commitments while improving natural spaces for all of our benefit.
“This SNP Government are committed to delivering the transformational change needed to ensure a bright future for Scotland’s beautiful natural environment.”
Notes and pictures available: https://www.snhpresscentre.com/news/nature-fund-announced-gbp-1-8m-given-to-biodiversity-projects