Mike Crockar: We must work with firms to create new opportunities

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On Friday I launched Get Edinburgh West Working, a campaign to find at least 100 training opportunities or jobs in 100 days.

At the breakfast launch at Murrayfield Stadium the Edinburgh Joined Up For Jobs team, business leaders from the constituency, as well as national firms with a presence in Edinburgh came together to discuss how we can provide more opportunities for people struggling to find work in the Capital.

This year nearly half a million apprenticeships were available in the UK to give young people the skills and experience they need to be successful in the job market – more than ever before. The £1 billion Youth Contract will provide 410,000 new work places over the next three years for 18-24-year-olds.

This type of opportunity can make a huge difference in someone’s life.  It can also be a great catalyst for business growth, tapping into new talent and potential. 

I think it’s really important that business leaders do know the score, and can get all the information they need quickly and easily.

Barrie Henderson managing director of Xtreme Karting in Newbridge said: “We already take on many apprentices at our Falkirk centre and after this we will be taking some on in Edinburgh too.”

David Paterson, head of regional affairs for Asda said: “It’s excellent to see businesses wanting to do their bit for young people in Edinburgh.”

By signing up, businesses are helping the wider community as well as the economy. I have taken the first step and have taken on two apprentices in my London office; I will be taking one on in my Edinburgh office soon.

n Mike Crockart is Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West