25th September 2018
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Swinney agrees to help tackle red tape preventing youngsters becoming marine apprentices

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Scottish finance minister John Swinney has agreed to look into a problem where Skills Development Scotland bureaucracy is stopping two Shetland school leavers taking up marine apprenticeships.

The youngsters wanted to start fishing careers with local employers but were being hampered in their efforts to do so. MSP Tavish Scott, who raised the issue at Question Time in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, said employment group Train Shetland had “run into a brick wall” trying to get the matter sorted out.

He asked the minister to raise with Skills Development Scotland the bureaucratic hurdles that many training providers felt were put in the way of their performance.

Mr Scott said: “Many believe that the Skills Development Scotland is a middle man that gets in the way of delivering the vocational training that this Parliament wants to be delivered. In particular, will he look into the case that Train Shetland raised with me concerning its 2011 marine vessel deckhand apprenticeship programme, which is being stopped by Skills Development Scotland and is therefore stopping two school leavers getting into jobs?”

Mr Swinney said if the details of the case were sent to him he would be happy to take it up with the chief executive of Skills Development Scotland.

The minister said: “The objective of Skills Development Scotland is to ensure that the training interventions that Mr Scott quite properly says this parliament wishes to be made can be delivered effectively and efficiently in all communities throughout the country.”

Mr Scott said later: “I I hope that the promised intervention will demolish that wall and allow these two Shetlanders to start the apprenticeships they want to pursue, without further red tape delays.”

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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