Exam success doesn’t guarantee employment

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Whilst we may congratulate the pupils who have been successful in getting their exam grades (News, August 6 and 7), that does not mean that they will be just as successful in finding suitable employment.

Scotland still has a major unemployment problem, especially among young people between the ages of 16 to 25 years.

Then there is still the question of the school leavers who left the previous term – many of them are still seeking suitable employment. Then again, there are the older people who have recently been made redundant.

The competition for jobs is fierce. To find the right people to do the job, it is not all about what qualifications you may have, it is all about how you apply yourself at an interview, not through the internet but face-to-face.

Many golden opportunities have been missed by the present Holyrood administration. The previous Scottish Labour administration had created a successful apprenticeship scheme but it has never been properly put into practice by Alex Salmond and his colleagues in government. Then there was the ill-fated Glasgow Air Rail Link (GARL) project which was turned down by the SNP. This would have created thousands of meaningful employment opportunities for many young students and school leavers.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Hospitals must protect patients from attacks

I found the report on 85-year-old Morag Simpson who was attacked by another patient as she lay in a hospital bed quite distressing (News, August 7).

I understand that one of the side-effects of dementia can be aggressive behaviour, and while the man who attacked her no doubt has serious problems of his own, it is still no comfort to Morag and her family that he probably wouldn’t have behaved this way had he been in his right mind.

If aggression is a known side-effect of this condition, then surely some sort of security should be in place to stop patients hitting out – not only at fellow patients but also at staff. I believe dementia can also cause confusion so the fact this man went wandering through the corridors before finding his victim isn’t a surprise either – so again, there should be some protocol in place.

I understand the tight budgets and staffing cuts the NHS is struggling to work within and I have every sympathy for over-worked staff who are doing their best. But if hospitals can’t be trusted to keep patients safe from attacks then there is something very wrong with the system.

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Give hostage takers lengthy sentences

No doubt the chemist who had a Stanley knife held to his throat during a three-hour siege, pictured below, is right to call for the suicide hostage takers to be slapped with lengthy jail sentences (News, August 10).

Peter Tinkler also described the horror moment when drug addict Russell Irvine poured isopropyl on the floor of his Royal Mile pharmacy and threatened to set it alight. He was standing with a cigarette lighter, ready to ignite the substance on the floor.

Irvine and his partner Helen Paterson had burst into the chemist shop in the Royal Mile and took staff and customers hostage. Both were high on drink and drugs. Pharmacy dispenser Nicola Lumsden managed to escape and raised the alarm.

I truly hope wicked Irvine and Paterson will receive severe prosecution for this horrendous crime. What an awful ordeal Mr Tinkler, his staff and customers endured.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian

We must stop banks funding fossil fuels

To tackle climate change, we need to take action in our own lives and communities to reduce carbon emissions. But that’s only part of the solution.

The global fossil fuel industry is the biggest driver of climate change, and it receives billions of pounds every year from the UK finance sector. In other words, banks and pension funds are spending ordinary people’s money on making sure more and more coal, oil and gas are extracted from the earth, when what we really need is to switch urgently to renewable energy.

For people who happen to live in places where coal or oil is found, the problems caused by fossil fuels are even more urgent. In many countries people are being evicted from their land to make way for dirty energy.

Banks won’t quit fossil fuels on their own. We need to demand that the government brings in regulation to prevent the banks fuelling climate change.

Anna Jasinska, Edina Street, Edinburgh

Production deserved more than three stars

I read your review for Godspell by the Forth Children’s Theatre (News, August 5) and was a bit worried as we were booked to go on Tuesday. We have been to previous productions and have always been very impressed.

We went on Tuesday and were not disappointed. The show was great, the cast were all excellent and looked like they were having a great time. They definitely gave everyone there more than a three-star review.

Thank you to everyone involved for a great show. Will be back next year.

Doreen Raeburn, Oxgangs Bank, Edinburgh

Thanks to councillors and MSP for support

Local democracy is easily smothered by bureaucracy. Without the support of Malcolm Chisholm MSP and Councillors Bagshaw, Barrie, Hinds and Whyte the industrialisation of the conservation area around the RBGE Nursery would have slipped through uncontested. We are grateful that they have secured a public hearing.

John A T Duncan, Inverleith Avenue, Edinburgh