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.