Local MSP Christina McKelvie has urged employers in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse to apply for the SNP Government’s £15 million Apprenticeship Employer Grant.

Marking Scottish Apprenticeship Week, that runs from 1st to 7th March, the MSP has encouraged employers to make the most of the fund which would provide £5,000 for taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24-year old apprentice for those aged up to 29 years who are disabled, care leavers and minority ethnic and £3,500 for taking on or upskilling an apprentice over 25.

The grant will help increase the number of employers able to take on an apprentice or upskill an existing staff member. The fund closes on 25th March or until funding levels are exceeded.

Commenting Christina said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the jobs and opportunities available for young people and employers have faced incredible challenges due to the pandemic – that’s why the SNP Government has introduced the Apprenticeship Employer Grant.

“To mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week, I am encouraging local businesses in the constituency to register for the scheme and take on apprentices – creating jobs and teaching our young people new skills.

“Alongside the Young Person’s Guarantee the SNP Scottish Government is taking steps to ensure we build a resilient recovery.  To do that we need a resilient workforce and our young people will be at the very heart of that.”

More info on the grant can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-25-million-apprenticeship-support/

Employers can apply here: https://www.apprenticeships.scot/for-employers/apprenticeship-employer-grant/

The Ipsos MORI poll, commissioned by STV, found the SNP are on course to increase their number of MSPs at Holyrood, while the Tories and Labour are predicted to lose seats.

The poll published today also found that 44% of voters agree that Scotland’s right to choose its own future is ‘very important’ when deciding which party to support – with the poll showing independence and the constitution is the most important issue for voters.

The poll also shows a majority would vote Yes to independence in a referendum, making it the 22nd poll in a row to show a majority for independence.  

Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said:

“This poll shows that voters across Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse are continuing to put their trust in the SNP alongside the rest of Scotland, ahead of Westminster parties to lead Scotland’s recovery.

“The people of Scotland want to have their say on Scotland’s future in a post-pandemic referendum, and the clearest way to secure that opportunity is with an SNP majority in May.

“While today’s findings are encouraging, they underline the importance of both votes being for the SNP at the upcoming election to stop Boris Johnson’s Tory party having the whip hand over Scotland.

“It is up to the people who live and work here to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard, and not let the Westminster government, who we did not vote for, dictate our future.

“The SNP take nothing for granted and will continue to work tirelessly for every single vote ahead of 6th May.”

MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Christina McKelvie has urged food and drink projects in South Lanarkshire to apply for a new Scottish Government fund launched to drive projects that celebrate locally sourced and produced food and drink. 

The Scotland Food & Drink Partnership was launched to help the sector with its recovery from COVID and prepare for Brexit, supported by £5 million from Scottish Government for 2020/21. An additional £50 million will be provided over 2021/22. 

Since 2018 the fund has awarded over £350,000 to 79 creative, innovative & collaborative projects across the regions of Scotland.

Grants of up to £5000 are available to applicants, and the deadline to apply is 15th March 2021. 

MSP Christina McKelvie said: 

“Our world-class food and drink sector has faced an extremely challenging year, so this funding - which will contribute to its recovery from Covid-19 - comes at an important time.

“Between Brexit and COVID-19, there are very few food and drink businesses which haven’t been seriously affected - but it’s vital our food and drink industry keeps growing and bringing benefits to Scotland and Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

“This money will play an important role in promoting food and drink in local communities and delivering benefits to Scotland’s local food and drink sector over the long-term.

“I’d encourage all eligible groups and businesses in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse to apply before the deadline on 15th March.”