SNP MSP for Cathcart, James Dornan, has denounced Labour’s attack on modern apprentices as “shameful and desperate”.
Following an exchange at First Minister’s Question’s today (Thursday) where Labour’s youth employment spokesperson, Kezia Dugdale repeated her inaccurate claims that the apprenticeship programme was not getting young people in to work, James Dornan said: “Despite the rhetoric from the Labour Party the reality is that they missed a golden opportunity to show their support for modern apprentices when they voted against the creation of 25, 000 places in the last Scottish budget.
“This shameful and desperate attack misrepresents the fantastic work the Modern Apprenticeships scheme does for our young people, with all of our apprentices in employment.
“While Labour launches an ill-informed assault on the scheme, the SNP Government continues to work hard to bolster life chances for our young people by investing £72million to support more than 26,427 MA starts last year.
“In 2001/12 our £69million was nearly double the amount invested by the Labour party when it was last in government, while we have doubled the 55,288 apprentices from their time in office to 112,501 in 2010/11.
“As this investment demonstrates, the SNP is committed to enabling our young people to have the best start in life and we have supported 35,000 aged 16 to 19 into and within the labour market since 2009.
“At a time when politicians need to unite in tackling unemployment – particularly amongst the 16 to 24 age group – Labour, once again, prefer carping from the side-lines for the sake of a headline in a friendly newspaper instead of helping to tackle head on the scourge of unemployment which has been exacerbated by the actions of the Westminster Government."