Letters: Give our young a chance with apprentice schemes

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This week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week, an opportunity to raise awareness of the opportunities of a modern apprenticeship for both employers and young people.

During an economic recession it is the most vulnerable who suffer the most.

We have a collective responsibility as a society to give them the opportunity to realise their full potential, but the rewards of getting these young people into work are well worth it.

Apprenticeship programmes have the potential to help address this problem and, at the same time, help businesses thrive, especially in the sectors where we are currently facing a skills shortage.

One key grouping, however, which is adversely affected by the economic recession and youth unemployment are those young people with additional support needs and care experience.

A greater holistic approach combining financial resources as well as targeted support is vital in assisting those in these categories to re-engage with education and training, ensuring they are ready to take up employment as well as while they are in employment.

However, the rewards of getting these young people, many of whom boast excellent skills, into work are well worth it, with higher loyalty and retention rates.

We would urge Scotland’s businesses to look beyond the label and look at the skills and talents of these individuals, especially as we mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition: Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom; Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius; Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? Scotland; Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School; Brian Durham, managing director, Young Foundations, Norton Park, Albion Road Edinburgh

UK’s economy is like the Titanic

I HAVE read and listened to the latest pronouncements of Michael Moore, now the occupant of a sinecure he himself claimed should be abolished.

His boss has admitted that the UK is steaming towards a national debt of £1.6 trillion; the much vaunted Triple-A rating has disappeared in a puff of smoke; “Farmers of the Revenue” continue to laugh at the futile efforts of HM Revenue and Customs, who are holed below the waterline by an ever increasing variety of tax loopholes and now continued membership of the European Union has been thrown into doubt.

Despite all this, Westminster clings to the illusion that by expending billions on the hideous obscenity of Trident, Britain can remain a world power.

The pound, the use of which is clearly grudged to Scotland, is kept afloat only by the oil in the North Sea yet Moore persists in inventing new ways of telling us we’d be sunk by independence!

In point of fact, the UK economy is a financial Titanic, and a lot less than a large iceberg will send it plunging to the bottom.

Let’s take to the lifeboats before the music stops . . . women and children first.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Norway proves that Scots can do it

THEY said nobody would invest in Scotland while the threat of independence was hanging over our heads. How wrong they were.

First we have a fuel bonanza, with oil and gas firm set to create many jobs over the next two years.

BP is investing money to build 74 structures at its yard in Rosyth, and Norwegian oil and gas company Aker Solutions is set to create more jobs.

And Diageo is investing £50 million in a new distillery in Easter Ross.

No wonder they want us to stay in the union. Oil and gas has paid for London’s boom.

Better together? I don’t think so.

Norway’s success proves independence can work. I am sick of the lies and scare stories.

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Events officials don’t think of worshippers

Re the article on travel disruption this Sunday for Hibs fans (New, May 20).

This situation also applies to churchgoers on the days of these marathons and walks.

Could they not be held in the afternoon and keep everyone happy?

Ian Bethune, Leith

Let’s pray churches act with some grace

I AM pleased that Edinburgh Secular Society and Humanist Society Scotland have this week launched a campaign to ask for a rethink on unelected religious representatives on council education committees.

The church has not run our non-denominational schools since 1872. There is no mandate for it to retain this back door key in what it seems to feel is some sort of honorary position given for its “service” to society.

There is much discussion these days of religious issues in schools such as the difference between the important religious education and the evangelising excesses of religious observance.

Public faith in our councils will be shaken if these concerns are handled by education committees packed with undemocratic religious nominees.

I hope the church will act with grace to help end this theocratic anachronism.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Edinburgh