16 March 2018

Banffshire Public Hall Gets Boost from MSP

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has presented a £250 boost to the fundraising efforts of a local community hall courtesy of research interviews he took part in recently.

Research firm Ipsos MORI and gas company Centrica asked the MSP to take part in an interview and offered a donation to charity if he agreed to take part. Mr Stevenson did so and nominated the King Memorial Hall at Grange as the worthy recipient.
Linda de Zilva; Sally Ingram; Stewart Stevenson MSP; and Anne Riddoch
Mr Stevenson presented the cheques to Committee Members Linda de Zilva, Sally Ingram and Anne Riddoch at a visit to the hall today (Friday) where he heard about their fundraising efforts and had a look round the hall.

Commenting, Stewart said:

“I get approached to take part in these surveys and research interviews from time to time in my role as an MSP. Most of them usually offer a fee for taking part and I donate these to good causes around the constituency.

“I was aware that the King Memorial Hall was fundraising for upgrades to their well-used public hall. Rural communities such as Grange rely on volunteers for the upkeep of their facilities, so I was pleased to be able to provide a modest boost to their efforts.”

11 March 2018

Tories Preparing "Cruel Betrayal" Over Fishing Powers

The UK government is preparing for a “cruel betrayal” over fishing powers, the SNP has said – warning the Tories that they’ll never be forgiven if Scotland’s fishing interests are bartered away.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has also warned that the Tories risk “the worst of both worlds” by giving away fishing rights but hitting fish processing and sales, sectors dependent upon EU markets and freedom of movement.

The Leave campaign promised that Scotland would take back control over fishing if the UK left the European Union.

But this week Philip Hammond hinted that fishing rights would be used as bargaining chips in negotiations, with the UK’s cack-handed approach having left them with a weakened negotiating position.

The Chancellor said that he would “of course” discuss “reciprocal access” to fishing waters in the UK.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“Brexiteers promised Scotland’s fishing communities that a Leave vote would mean taking back control of our fishing waters.

“But now we know that Philip Hammond, knowing how few cards the UK government hold, wants to put the future of our fishing communities on the negotiating table.

“This isn’t the first time the Tories have seen Scotland’s fishing industry as ‘expendable’.

“Whether we’re leaving the EU or not, we need fundamental reform of international agreements with better access for Scottish fleets.

“But the Tory approach risks the worst of both worlds for our industry – bartering away our fishing waters, hammering the processors who depend on EU workers and erecting barriers to Scottish seafood reaching its biggest export market.

“If Philip Hammond follows through on his threat to Scotland’s fishing industry, that will be a cruel betrayal – and the Tories won’t be forgiven.”

10 March 2018

Modern Apprenticeship Starts On The Up

MSP Marks Apprenticeship Week with Visit to Successful Broch Company

The number of people starting a modern apprenticeship has increased by over 500 since the same period last year, latest stats show - as Scotland marks Apprenticeship Week.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson marked Apprenticeship Week locally with a visit to Fraserburgh-based Gray & Adams, along with officials from Skills Development Scotland and NE Scotland College, where he met with management and apprentices.

When compared with the end of Quarter 3 last year, there are now 529 more people enrolled in Modern Apprenticeships - a total of 18,774. And the latest statistics also show that there are over 500 more disabled people, 500 more people from BAME backgrounds, and more women undertaking Modern Apprenticeships compared to last year.
Stewart Stevenson MSP with Apprentice Nicola Burnett
The Scottish Government has increased the number of new apprenticeships from 10,500 in 2008 to 28,000 in 2018-19 - and is on track to achieve 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I was delighted to visit one of the constituency’s most successful companies today, Gray and Adams, and to meet some of the apprentices involved.

“The young people I met, who are involved in a range of activities from the factory floor to the drawing office, are building-up important skills which will stand them in good stead as their careers progress. It was a pleasure to meet with them and Gray and Adams are to be commended for their commitment to apprenticeships.

"The Scottish Government's action to increase the number of Modern Apprentices since 2007 has been transformational - and these figures prove the action is having a positive impact on women and minority groups. Progressive companies such as Gray and Adams are a vital part of this and it’s right we recognise their contribution during Apprenticeship Week.

"The fact we have over 500 more Modern Apprenticeship starts nationally than the same time last year is great news to kick off this year's Apprenticeship Week."

Duncan Abernethy, Director of Business Development at North East Scotland College, who accompanied Mr Stevenson on the visit said:

“NESCol is very happy to support Gray & Adams’ Modern Apprentices with 39 currently attending College or being assessed on their programmes in the workplace. We have worked closely with Andrew Cooper and his team for many years, to ensure the best possible learning experience for the apprentices in the Design Office, workshops or body repair facility. The programme provides an impressive ‘conveyor belt’ of talent which helps to secure the future success of the business.

“In the past year, 143 Modern Apprentices from across the North East of Scotland, have successfully completed their training programmes at NESCol with another 364 currently taking part in a variety of programmes across Engineering, Business & Administration, Hairdressing, Automotive and Care. We celebrated the successes of many of those apprentices at our Awards Ceremonies in Fraserburgh and Aberdeen this week along their employers, friends and families.

“NESCol is offering new Modern Apprenticeship qualifications in Management, Freight Logistics and SCQF L8 in Business & Administration in 2018/19 and we are delighted to see a significant increase in employer demand for MA places at North East Scotland College for the year ahead. We look forward to building on the strong relationships we have with business and industry across the Region and are excited about the prospects for the future.”
Stewart Stevenson MSP with Apprentice Kieran Scott

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