Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Budget boost for Scottish construction

Plans for a public spending boost across Scotland have been hailed by construction leaders north of the border.

Following a round of negotiations between Scottish Ministers and opposition parties, it is expected that the final budget will be approved unanimously by MSPs this afternoon.

The package of measures is set to include:

ВЈ230 million of accelerated spending on capital projectsA guarantee for all apprentices to complete their training if they are made redundantMoney for an additional 7,800 apprenticeship places in 2009/2010Progress on the Scottish Futures Trust with the first projects to get underway in 2009A ВЈ60million town centre regeneration fund

Proposals by the Green Party for a new insulation and energy efficiency scheme are also expected to be announced.


Budget boost for Scottish construction


Speaking ahead of the vote, Michael Levack, Chief Executive of the Scottish Building Federation said: “2009 is set to be another difficult year for Scottish construction. Last year over 20,000 construction jobs were lost, resulting in a loss of skills and expertise that may take years to recover.

“We have been calling for a Scottish budget that puts work and skills first. A budget that puts money into public sector projects and allows young apprentices to complete their training and take up the opportunity of well paid professional work in a couple of years time.

“I am pleased that the seriousness of the situation has been understood and that consensus appears to have broken out at Holyrood.”

“By delivering for apprentices, accelerating capital spending and bringing forward the first Scottish Futures Trust projects this year, real progress is being made. More still must be done to create work in the short term and sensible heads must prevail regarding the home insulation and energy efficiency programme proposed by the Greens.

“However, the challenge now is to start putting these new commitments into action.”

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