Comment: the Academy that likes to say YES

07 May 2011..Stewart Maxwell MSP West Scotland / Scottish National Party pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
07 May 2011..Stewart Maxwell MSP West Scotland / Scottish National Party pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

A project to help more young people from East Renfrewshire get into work celebrated its first anniverary recently with the opening of a brand new Hair & Beauty Academy.

The YES Academy — run by Young Enterprise Scotland and supported by the Council — aims to create opportunities for young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to access secure employment.

I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the YES Academy at its base in Rouken Glen Park.

The fantastic facilities and dedicated staff there provide excellent opportunities for young people to take that first step onto the employment ladder.

The new Hair & Beauty Academy will enable trainees from across East Renfrewshire to gain hands-on experience as well as SQA accredited qualifications.

The Scottish government is working hard to combat youth unemployment through record investment in apprenticeships and training.

Figures from Skills Development Scotland show that over 77,000 modern apprenticeship places have been created over the past three years, with a commitment from the Scottish government to increase the number of places available each year from 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020.

This is good news not just for Scotland’s young people, but also for businesses who will benefit from a more skilled and confident workforce.

The Scottish Government has announced plans to make our roads safer by lowering the drink drive limit in time for the beginning of the festive period.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the justice secretary has said that the blood alcohol limit for drivers on Scotland’s roads will be cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood — the same limit that is in place in 
most countries across Europe.

The new lower limit is expected to be introduced from December 5 2014 and will be publicised through press, radio and TV in a large-scale multi-media campaign.

Drink driving is dangerous and irresponsible — it not only puts the driver’s own life at risk but also the lives of innocent road users. 1 in 10 deaths on Scottish roads are caused by drivers who are over the legal limit.

It’s estimated that having just a single alcoholic drink before driving makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

Put simply these new drink drive limits will save lives, which is why I support the Justice Secretary’s proposals and why I plan to vote in favour of the legislation when it comes before parliament.

The message from Police Scotland is clear — don’t risk it, don’t drink and drive.