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 :