Energy jobs are proof that employers have the power

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As the employer voice on skills issues we were delighted to hear that ScottishPower is creating 300 new engineering and technical jobs, with a third of the jobs earmarked for graduates and apprentices.

In addition, it plans to invest £6.5 million in skills development, recognising the fact that four out of five energy industry workers are set to retire over the next 15 years, providing a considerable challenge to a priority sector for the economy.

Such investment will range from schools programmes and setting up partnerships with colleges and universities. One of the great challenges facing the sector is that it is not seen as an attractive option and such measures go some way to addressing that, beginning with the classroom.

We would encourage employers to take advantage of the support available.

Jacqui Hepburn, director, Alliance of Sector Skills Council Scotland, Castle Street, Edinburgh

No reason to bash buoyant business

LAWRENCE Murray is keen to slate the proprietor’s highlighting of the fact that the Gucchi Seafood Restaurant in Leith has a late licence (News, February 27).

Of course the bar will advertise this, it’s good business to advertise your advantages over competition.

Given the close proximity to a major thoroughfare, bus stance, taxi rank and more lively establishments, I am surprised at Mr Murray’s attempts to thwart a good and responsible business on the basis of noise and nuisance.

Simon Sawers, Leith

Library shouldn’t have been shelved

DRUMBRAE Library is a magnificent building which will be of benefit to people from a much wider area than just Drumbrae.

However, in his attack on me (Letters, February 29) Councillor Keir completely misses the point that we could have had this library ten years ago if his Lib Dem council colleagues had not blocked it at that time.

My hostility has never been to the building of the library, but I do object to councillors who think that a £5 million council office can compensate the community for the loss of its primary school.

If Cllr Keir is in touch with the area he, like me, will have heard the parents anxious and deeply concerned at the lack of nursery places in this part of the city and the over-crowding in all three remaining schools.

This is a direct result of his failure to listen.

Karen Keil, Labour candidate for Drumbrae Gyle

Public purse does fund green groups

I AM grateful to Stan Blackley, Friends of Earth Scotland, for protesting that it had never received 12 million euros from the EU since it gives me the opportunity to elaborate (Letters, March 1).

I said that WWF and Friends of Earth received 12 million euros and this is fact.

After contributions from other EU governments, 50 per cent of the group’s annual income comes from the public purse.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow