One of the main focuses for Labour, and Kenny Selbie’s campaign, is employment, and he recently visited Fife College to talk to students about their future.
He said: “Over the course of the Tory led government we have seen the rise of zero hour contracts, young people forced into low skilled insecure jobs for minimum wage, and in Scotland we have seen massive cuts to college funding from the Scottish Government.
“One of the major issues for the students and young people I spoke to was how they will fund themselves through college, how they will get to job interviews and if they will be able to get a job or apprenticeship at the end.
“Scottish university students get an average of £1600 spent on their fees – and this is great. But what of those thousands of young people who don’t go to university?
“I am working hard every day in this constituency so that Labour will be in government and can implement our policies to help young people.
“We will launch a £175m Scottish welfare fund – giving out of work 18 and 19-year-olds £1,600 support. This will enable them to buy driving lessons, stationary, work tools, find a training course or start a business.
“We will also give free bus passes for up to 40,000 apprentices because I know from talking to students in Kirkcaldy that transport is an issue. We have heard loud and clear from students that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are held back by SNP bursary cuts, so we will raise student bursaries for the poorest applicants by £1000, and we are also committed to no tuition fees.
“Providing our community with the opportunity to develop skills and education is now more critical than ever. The future of our economy will rely heavily on ideas and creativity, where innovation is the key to creating high skill and valued work.
“Some of the young people who I spoke to at the college were clear and positive about the direction they were going in. We need to ensure that wherever possible, there is a direct link between the types of courses and opportunities available and the kind of work and employment that will be created in future.
“It is therefore a priority for me to ensure that we focus on continuing to develop the links and joint working between education providers, local employers, the Council and others.
“Some great work has already been taken forward through the college and our schools in recent times – we all need to work to ensure there is consistency in access for all our young people.”