The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Michael Russell, has given consent to the merger of Anniesland, Cardonald and Langside Colleges to create a new college for South and West Glasgow.
In a letter to the chairs of the three college boards, Mr Russell praised the colleges for their hard work during the merger process.
He said: “I appreciate that the development of your merger proposal has been a task of considerable scale and complexity. I commend the leadership, commitment and diligence of all those involved. This has allowed you to make very significant progress while ensuring business continuity. Maintaining this approach will be critical to the success of the merger.”
He will now make the relevant order under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act.
The merger between Anniesland, Cardonald and Langside is in response to the Scottish Government’s reform of post-16 education in Scotland. The three colleges started talks about a possible merger early last year. In December, Susan Walsh, current Principal of Cardonald College, was named as Principal Designate of the new college, which will officially open on August 1st this year. She said: “The Cabinet Secretary’s approval is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff, students and Boards of Management of the three merging colleges. Our Merger Proposal and Business Case demonstrate that Glasgow Clyde College is built on a sure foundation and with the talents we have in all of our staff, this new college will serve our students and communities well and be one of which Glasgow and Scotland can be justly proud.”
Confirmation of the new name – Glasgow Clyde College – is expected next month.
First Minister Alex Salmond has used an address at a summit in Easterhouse to announce a £34m jobs boost for Scotland.
The event, which also featured a speech by Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy, was attended by elected officials, local authorities, voluntary groups, the business community, trades unions, colleges and universities.
The package will come from European Union funds, creating at least 200 jobs and safeguarding many more, the audience at John Wheatley College heard.
Mr Murphy said some 300 jobs could be created by a boost from the Future Jobs Fund, an initiative driven by the Department of Work and Pensions.
The Scottish Government also announced a £4m package under the ScotAction banner, open to businesses to drive up the number of apprentices.
On the economic front, the Scottish Secretary explained: ‘The recovery from the recession of the 1980s, getting the jobs market back to where it was, was 19 years after the recession started.
‘After the 1990s recession it was six years. If we have a 1990s-style recovery in the jobs market, it’ll be 2014 before we get back to where we were. If we have a 1980s-style recovery in the jobs market, it’ll be 2027.
‘None of us are interested in waiting until 2027 to get us back to where we were before this recession and none of us are interested in waiting till 2014, but that has been the pattern. There is a warning within these figures.’
Education Secretary Mike Russell MSP told LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW: ‘Just as there are, on a national basis, 4,000 incentives of £1000 each to companies to take on an apprentice, there are always local initiatives. I know, on the Glasgow side, the Skills Development Scotland people will be looking for those who might benefit. That’s where the biggest skills pool lies.
‘They will need to go into Glasgow employers and they will need to make sure that those Glasgow employers are full aware of it. I would expect there’ll be substantial targeting of these initiatives within Glasgow.’