Labour’s Argyll and Bute election candidate says a package of measures aimed at helping young people will be worth £17 million for the area.
The pledge, announced by the party’s Scottish leader Jim Murphy, includes a promise that if Labour forms part of the next UK government, they will give £1,600 to young school leavers in a ‘Future Fund’ which will allow 18- and 19-year-olds to kick start their working lives in Argyll and Bute.
The money could be used for training, driving lessons, business start-up costs, or buying tools.
“It’s known that we have a population crisis,” Mrs Galbraith said. “Not enough of our young people stay here, and too many of those who do stay struggle to find rewarding work and training.
“The Future Fund will make a real difference to young people right across Argyll and Bute. For too long our young people who aren’t in education or training have been ignored and let down by governments in Edinburgh and London.
“The owner of a haulage business I spoke to recently gave this scheme his full backing. They’d use this £1,600 to help pay for a young person’s HGV lessons. They’re delighted that this skills investment proposal is targeted at school-leavers who go straight into work.
“This means that whatever path young people take, Scottish Labour will support them through this Future Fund, keeping university tuition free, and a guaranteed job with proper pay for those out of work.”
Other measures in Labour’s proposal include increasing the number of college places, improving direct support to students and providing free bus travel for apprentices.
The package of measures will cost £1 billion across the UK and Labour plans to pay for it through a tax on bankers’ bonuses and changes to pension tax relief which would only affect the top one per cent of tax payers.
“The changes are good for all of us – not just the young,” Mrs Galbraith added.
“Parents and grand-parents want to see younger family members do well. And by helping our next generation build careers they’re contributing to our local economies. It’s a good plan for the future.”
Mrs Galbraith will join all the other Argyll and Bute candidates at The Buteman’s general election hustings at Rothesay Pavilion this Sunday, April 19, at 2pm; the meeting starts at 2pm, and admission is free.