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18 May 2004

UNISON calls on Scottish Enterprise boss to come clean

Scottish public service union, UNISON, today called on the Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, Jack Perry to come clean on the future of over 400 staff in CareersScotland following his recent announcement at the Scottish Engineering annual dinner, that Scottish Enterprise should not be involved in delivering the Scottish Executive's social inclusion agenda.

In letters to both to Mr Perry and to Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace MSP, UNISON is seeking to clarify the policies of both Scottish Enterprise and the Executive.

UNISON Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, "Careers Scotland was created a little over two years ago by the then Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander MSP after a detailed period of review and consultation. The main purpose of the new organisation is to provide a one-stop shop to enable all Scots to discover how they can exploit their skills in the economy.

"In one fell swoop Mr Perry has apparently not only rewritten Scottish Executive policy, but has also consigned those within our community who need most help, - older people, people with skills gaps and people who may not have a record of academic achievement - to the dustbin."

Commenting further on Mr Perry's view that Scottish Enterprise should focus more on its role as an economic development agency. Matt added, "UNISON understands why Mr Perry might take the view that regenerating Clyde waterfront is more in keeping with the role of an economic development agency. New buildings and job creation looks good on Scottish Enterprise's CV.

"However his view completely ignores the fact that Careers Scotland is not an economic regeneration company, it is aligned to Scottish Enterprise because people see the sense in enterprise, skills and learning working together for the benefit of every Scot. Is he saying that we should not have a Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning either?"


For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin ( Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07946339036 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)




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