Marlyn Glen MSP

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Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Apprentice redundancies : “sign of stagnation in key sector industry”

20 April 2010

Marlyn Glen is highlighting with the Scottish Government the plight of 36 apprentices in the construction industry in Dundee and Angus who have been made redundant in the past year. Official statistics show that 21 construction apprenticeships were made redundant in Dundee between April of last year and March of this year. The corresponding figure for Angus was 15. Ms Glen, who is raising the issue with Employment Minister Jim Mather said “These figures are a symptom of the stagnation that this key sector of the Scottish economy has faced. “The Scottish Government must ensure that, on the route to economic recovery, it ends its damaging decrease in investment in construction projects. “More finance for new houses, schools and roads means a need for more apprentices.” She said that both sides of the industry agreed that action had to be taken by government to help the construction sector. The Scottish Building Federation has called for ” a targeted strategy specifically focused on creating and retaining apprenticeships in the building industry.” The trade union UCATT says it is “critical that the Scottish Government prioritise investment in construction industry projects to get thousands back to work. ” Ms. Glen has already called on the Scottish Government not to cut Dundee’s affordable housing budget which is set to plummet by a planned 45 per cent this year , a £4.5 million drop. She is also raising with the Minister the “lengthy wait” for work to begin onsite to refurbish Harris Academy , now forecast to be the middle of next year at the earliest.

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Laptop scheme for Scotland urged

14 April 2010

Marlyn Glen is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a scheme to provide a free laptop to pupils from less advantaged backgrounds to help improve their educational attainment.

Ms. Glen is writing to Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell saying that it could be similar to the £300 million Home Access Scheme to benefit 270,000 families in England that was introduced earlier this year by the UK Government.

The scheme in England was piloted in two areas beforehand and Ms. Glen says that Dundee would be a suitable choice for a Scottish pilot.

Ms. Glen said, ” Computers are essential requirements in education today for all children to gain from in this digital age of learning.

“Continuing online learning at home benefits those children who do so, and we must ensure, as much as possible, that no one is left out of such a wealth of online learning resources without a computer.

“A study by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that having a computer at home could improve the grades gained in some school subject exams in England”

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Gender Pay Gap : “Still a Long Way to Closing it”

1 April 2010

Marlyn Glen has said that progress on reducing the gender pay gap in Scotland is being maintained but that there is still “a long distance to go in closing it.”

She was responding to answers to her Parliamentary Questions on the gender pay gap over the past two years in Scotland from Finance Secretary John Swinney

Ms. Glen said,
“The chief reasons for the gender pay gap are the concentration of women in low-paid work, the undervaluing of that work, and the penalty for women’s caring duties and raising a family.

” While some progress has been achieved in full time employment rates, the fact remains that women working part-time earn around 35 per cent less per hour than men who work full-time.”

The media hourly pay rate for women in Scotland in full time employment expressed as percentage of the rate for men rose from 88 per cent in 2007 to 92 per cent last year.

In the public sector , the female rate remained in the 95-96 per cent range of the rate for men over the same two year period.

In the private sector, the female rate remained at just below 80 per cent of the rate for men in the same period.

Another method of expressing the gender pay gap is to compare the median hourly rate of pay for men in full time employment with the corresponding rate for women in part-time employment.

This is because so many more women work part-time than men.

In Scotland last year 40 per cent of women worked part time compared with just 10 per cent of men.

The gender pay gap between the hourly rate of pay for men in full-time employment and women in part-time employment is 35 per cent in Scotland.

Source of information :
See data at http://www.mglen.org.uk/news01042010.htm

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