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29 April 2015

Stevenson Addresses Gender Gaps in Future Employment

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast has spoken about how gender gaps can affect the future of Scottish employment, especially in the north-east.

In a debate on Scotland’s future employability services yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Stevenson said:

“We have talked about how there is a huge skew, with few women going into many of the traditionally male-dominated industries. I welcome the fact that, when I go to what is now North East Scotland College, previously Banff and Buchan College, there is always a decent number of women on the oil and engineering courses. It is not yet enough, but a good number of women can see ahead of them a career that is intellectually and economically rewarding and will engage their mental faculties.”

He added that new ways to integrate different groups of people into employment are needed.

“We have to find new models and new ways of mentoring people, including women, people with mental ill health and people who have the ability and desire to recover from addictions.”

He concluded by praising an amendment to the Government’s motion adding:

“The amendment, which talks about wider reforms of employment policy to deliver a more socially just Scotland, is spot on. It captures the whole point of what we are doing.”

23 April 2015

Stevenson Showcases the Good Food of the North-East

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, highlighted some of his favourite food from the north-east in a Scottish Parliament debate today (Thursday).

In a member’s debate on the importance of food and drink to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economy, Mr Stevenson said:

“Recent reports have shown that exports of Scottish salmon grew by £50 million last year, reaching £500 million for the first time ever. It is now the UK’s number one food export. Virgin rape seed oil is now being used widely in cooking and much of this began in the north-east.

“This is an important part of the tourism industry as it brings people to Scotland. Food and drink is of great importance to Scottish identity and to Scottish heritage as a whole.”

He added:

“My local fish and chip shop sells between six to eight varieties of fish, and one of my favourite dishes in my constituency is one that only costs about £1 – Downies Scotch Pie from Whitehills. Good food can be very affordable indeed and I hope that they continue to make this fantastic fare.”

22 April 2015

Stevenson Brings Doric into Scottish Culture Debate

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, broke out into Doric poetry yesterday (Tuesday) in a Scottish Parliament debate on the contribution of culture, visitor attractions and events to Scotland’s economy and society.

Acknowledging the importance of Doric to the north-east of Scotland, Mr Stevenson added:

“Words, literature and poetry are an important part of our connection with, and our gift to the world. We are fortunate that our neighbours to the south of us have given us one of the richest languages on the earth – English - with a huge vocabulary, great opportunities to write and many things for us to read.”

He added that the north-east was also an attraction for those with family connections to the area.

“When we study our family, we connect with our history, our antecedents and the diaspora of 40 million or 50 million Scots around the world. The Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society has thousands of members and a huge building full of information that people come to see.

“We also have many places from today’s literature and films that attract tourists. Pennan, in my constituency, has a year-round population of some 24. Yet, more than 30 years after ‘Local Hero’ was filmed there, people still come to Pennan to look at the phone box.”

Mr Stevenson added:

“Let us hope that the cultural heritage for those who come to Scotland today is as rich as I feel that mine is.”

2 April 2015

Stevenson Highlights the Importance of Prisoner Rehabilitation

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, highlighted the importance of the rehabilitation of prisoners on release in a debate on the Prisoners (Scotland) Bill today (Thursday).

Mr Stevenson said:

“Each prisoner is an individual, and that must be considered when dealing with each one of them.”

Mr. Stevenson emphasised that parole boards need to be ready for the release of prisoners and have as much help as possible in helping to rehabilitate them, noting sex offenders as a top priority.

He added:

“Parole boards need to be well resourced, particularly when it comes to sex offenders.”

Mr Stevenson acknowledged that the bill is a good step towards further rehabilitation adding:

“This bill breathes confidence in the prison service - rehabilitation is the moral and economically correct thing to do.”
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