Bring a halt to cuts

AS the summer holidays fast approach, it should be a time of great excitement and anticipation for young people leaving school, as they look forward to a life beyond the classroom, and to moving into further or higher education or into training or work.

However, for those whose next step should be further education, it has instead been a time of uncertainty that has been caused by the Scottish Government's cuts to colleges.

James Watt College is in the firing line, and as a result it has been forced to deal with the effect of the cuts on the young people whom it serves.

There is only so much the college can do to try and insulate students from the brunt of the cut backs, and I am fearful that we will see less teachers, reduced teaching hours and fewer student places.

Ultimately, the quality of the educational experience at James Watt College will be reduced.

I also have a big concern that the number of college places and part-time courses for those with complex needs will be scaled back, forcing them to look elsewhere.

This will only set to make their transition from school to college all the more difficult and put additional pressure on carers.

We can judge a Government by the priorities that it sets and the choices that it makes.

And in its support and encouragement of our young people, the Government has been found wanting, and in its recognition of the value of college staff it has fallen well short.

This needs to change.

The government must bring a halt to the cuts and get back to supporting our college, so it will continue to play its vital role in our community, providing transformational opportunities for all our young people and helping them to gain the skills to get their first job or a career.