Scottish Labour has unveiled its list of candidates for the local government elections in Glasgow – and promised to transform the support it offers from birth to old age.
The party’s manifesto for the next five years in Glasgow promises:
- to expand free childcare by up to 1500 per child
- to offer a guarantee of apprenticeships, jobs or training to every 16 – 24 year old in Glasgow.
- to rebuild or refurbish every primary school that needs it
- to build 3500 new homes for rent, and offers first time buyers help with mortgages
- to replace the Winter Fuel Allowance – cut by the Tories -for the over 80s in the city
The party will field 45 candidates across all wards in the city. Full details are on www.glasgowlabour.com/candidates.
Gordon Matheson, Labour Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘This election is about the future of our city. Glasgow has changed so much over the years, but we need to keep moving forward and to give chances to the next generation.
‘Our candidates are working hard across the city, knocking on doors, talking to voters and listening to their concerns.
‘I joined the Labour Party to change society and change lives, and in tough economic times Labour in Glasgow will put people in Glasgow first.
‘That is why I have set out a vision to improve childcare, refurbish our schools, create jobs, build homes, and protect the city’s pensioners.
‘But this isn’t just about policies and new schemes to help people. This is about something much bigger. It is about protecting our citizens from birth to old age, giving chances to the next generation, doing always what we can to make the biggest city in Scotland the greatest city in the world.’
By Alan McCrorie
The energy and optimism of a young African man and the tradition of a venerable Scottish institution have combined to launch the search for the city’s leading apprentices.
Somalia-born Fuad Warsame, now 20, left his troubled homeland three years ago to come to Scotland.
He was recently named Trades House Modern Apprentice of the Year. The mechanical engineering technician at the University of Strathclyde has mastered English, studied mathematics and computing at Anniesland College, and achieved a National Certificate in engineering.
After he completes his apprenticeship, Fuad intends to join the staff of the university’s Mechanical Engineering Department.
Deacon Convenor of the Trades of Glasgow, Michael Low, described Fuad’s story as ‘inspirational’.
‘We could not think of a better ambassador of the programme to help us launch our awards this year,’ Michael said.
The city’s apprenticeship system predates the foundation in 1605 of Trades House. The award scheme is in its fourth year and is supported by Skills Development Scotland and Glasgow City Council.
Fuad, who beat five other finalists to the prize, feels mechanical engineering skills are needed both nationally and internationally and ‘could allow us to tackle global warming and create renewable and marine energies.
‘It’s a subject that could enable us to do things such as tackle poverty, create crops and grow food. It’s a broad subject and it’s a beautiful subject.’
He added: ‘I appreciate the opportunity I have been given here and it will be useful if, one day, I were to be able to do something to change lives and contribute to a community, whether it be in Glasgow, or in Africa.’
The new Glaswegian says his award was ‘absolutely fantastic’.
‘I never expected to win this. The people, the candidates, were excellent. I imagined each competitor would be the winner and for me to win the Trades House award is hugely prestigious and I appreciate it very much.
‘It has also changed my life. Once I won the award the University of Strathclyde offered me a job and I think that is fantastic.’
The Trades House award is open to people working towards a Scottish Modern Apprenticeship, or those certificated no later than 1 April this year.
The winner is given an inscribed quaich – which remains at Trades House but a replica is provided – a cash prize of £500 for further study and a certificate. Two runners up receive £250 and a certificate, while the three remaining finalists are given a commendation.
Closing date for entries is 10 February 2010 and nomination forms can be downloaded from www.tradeshouse.org.uk. Alternatively, the forms are available from Trades House of Glasgow, Administration Centre, North Gallery, Trades Hall, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow, G1 1UH.
Glasgow is looking beyond the recession and equipping young workers with new skills to build a stronger economy, the 12th annual State of the City Economy Conference heard.
Lauding the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative and renewing the city’s commitment to it, Council Leader Steven Purcell said the city was preparing for an economic upturn by building the pool of skilled labour.
More than 1000 qualified school leavers who applied to the scheme launched in March 2008, are in apprenticeships or on a National Progression Award that will lead to an apprenticeship.
The scheme is aimed at equipping the city with the talent to turn the 2014 Commonwealth Games blueprint into reality.
‘I don’t know how long this recession will last, but I do know that at some point we will come out of it and when that happens, we must ensure that Glasgow comes out of it stronger than when we went in,’ Mr Purcell said.
In a bullish address to delegates at the Radisson Hotel on Argyle Street, the Council Leader cited 1,300 new jobs in the nearby financial district, retail expansion in the St Enoch’s Centre and a planned expansion for Buchanan Galleries as evidence of Glasgow’s resilience.
Hotel occupancy rates have risen to 81% over the past two years, he added, with additional room space to come.
The volume of private sector planning permissions granted in 2008-09, suggests that developers continue to have faith in the city’s potential, he said.