A SOCIAL enterprise boss and SNP member has turned on his own party by launching a campaign accusing it of making cuts to crucial funding for training young people for the world of work.
Sandy Campbell the director of the WorkingRite social enterprise in Leith, said the Scottish Government was taking a “failed English approach to 16 to 18-year-olds”.
He said funding for training had been slashed and redirected to colleges, “reducing the choices for young people”.
The former SNP council candidate said his party had made “a big mistake” and called for a policy shift.
WorkingRite describes itself as a body that “delivers work-based mentoring and learning for 16 to 18-year-old young people” that has achieved “high levels of progression into full-time employment and apprenticeships”.
Mr Campbell said he believed the party he supports had devoted government resources to higher education and classroom-based learning at the expense of the training sector, which he claimed has been starved of cash.
In a campaign e-mail, he said: “The SNP government is making massive cuts to work-based training for young people in 2016/17.
“Instead the money is going into schools and colleges.”
He has also launched a petition against SNP policy, in which he states: “The irony of this change in policy is that it is following a failed English approach to 16 to 18-year-olds.
“It is strange, to say the least, that the SNP should be using its new powers to follow England’s failed experiment.”
Mr Campbell’s intervention was welcomed by Lothian Labour MSP Neil Findlay.
He said: This is a highly unusual internal criticism of the SNP Scottish Government from one of their own members. Normally the SNP membership fall into line and unquestioningly do what they’re told so it is refreshing to hear a genuine critique from Mr Campbell.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman defended its record.
She said: “We are committed to supporting all of our young people into employment.
“The UK government’s spending review has been hugely challenging for the devolved Scottish budget and we must better target our support taking account of improved employment levels.”