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Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2010

10. What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on measures to promote employment in Scotland. (309558)

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues about employment in Scotland, and I co-hosted Scotland’s first ever jobs summit on Monday this week in Glasgow.

What assurances can the Minister give about the quality and permanence of the jobs that he claims to be creating for young people in Scotland?

First, there is a guarantee that those jobs are better than being on the dole—the option that the hon. Gentleman’s party took throughout the 1980s when in government; and there are a quarter of a million more people in work throughout Scotland now than there were when we came to power. But of course, the genuine point behind the hon. Gentleman’s question is about guaranteeing that those young people get meaningful employment, that the job turns into a career and that such people, when they themselves have children, have the finance and self-dependency to provide for them. We are determined to do all that we can.

Despite the best efforts to promote employment in Scotland, my constituents and constituents in Glasgow will be severely hampered by the decision of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to withdraw the Renfrew ferry. It has done so because it does not have any funding from the Scottish Government. Will my hon. Friend raise the matter with Scottish Government Ministers in order to reinstate the ferry service?

My hon. Friend is always on the case, defending his constituency and promoting employment there. If the Renfrew ferry is another transport project that the SNP Edinburgh Government have cancelled in the west of Scotland, many people in the area will believe that the SNP just does not understand that part of our country.