Angela Constance MSP

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Angela Constance MSP

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  • Member for: Almond Valley
  • Region: Lothian
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Angela is a member of the following Committees:

Angela is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Angela Constance

Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment (Angela Constance)

The latest data from the annual population survey—July 2013 to June 2014—shows a drop of 5.6 per cent in employment levels between 2011-12 and 2013-14. The employment level for women in Dundee decreased by 2.5 per cent over the same period, while the youth employment level increased by 5.9 per cent. However, the latest data from the labour force survey shows a clear and sustained strengthening in the Scottish economy, with the number of women in employment at the highest level since records began and youth unemployment at a six-year low.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

Yes, indeed. Let me be absolutely clear that, although the national indicators for women and young people throughout the country are moving in the right direction and Scotland is outperforming the rest of the United Kingdom, as the economy strengthens and improves we need to ensure that nobody is left behind.

Alison McInnes might be interested to know that modern apprenticeship starts in Dundee increased from 238 in 2008-09 to 714 last year. Community jobs Scotland, the youth employment Scotland fund and the employability fund are all well used in Dundee. She might also be interested to know about a vocational English as a second language course in Dundee that is targeted at women. It focuses on various sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, bioscience, finance and customer service, as well as the early years in education.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

The figures speak for themselves. The economy has grown for two years and output has now passed pre-recession levels. However, I am acutely conscious that, although youth unemployment is at a six-year low, it still remains too high at 16.7 per cent. Indeed, youth unemployment pre-recession in Scotland was at 13.2 per cent, so our ambitions must be far greater than returning to pre-recession levels of economic performance and youth unemployment in particular.

I agree with Angus MacDonald’s point that full fiscal responsibility for the Scottish Government would enable us to do more.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

I point out to Ms Marra that the youth employment situation in Dundee is improving. Last year, the youth employment rate for Dundee was 47.8 per cent; it is now 51.1 per cent. That is an important move in the right direction, but there is far more to do, not only in Dundee but the length and breadth of Scotland.

I would be happy to consider any specific information that Ms Marra has about further education in Dundee and to share that with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. However, there is no doubt that the college sector is delivering for more young people, who are studying more on full-time courses that lead to recognised qualifications that improve their overall employability and work prospects.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment (Angela Constance)

Women form the majority of college students. Students can benefit from record levels of financial support of more than £104 million this academic year in bursaries, childcare and discretionary funds. That includes an entitlement payment of up to £1,215 per year to help lone parents with childcare costs. Additionally, we invested £6.6 million in 2013-14 and are doing so again in 2014-15 for additional part-time opportunities.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

As I indicated in my original answer to Mr Malik, we are continuing to invest in part-time places—there is an additional £6.6 million this year and next year. I remind Mr Malik that there is an all-age career service that is available to everyone, irrespective of gender or age, via Skills Development Scotland. I do not know the particular details of his constituent’s case, but I am happy to receive information regarding the lady that he seeks to represent.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

The recommendations from the young workforce commission are indeed very important. They will help us to build on the great progress we have made in schools, in the college sector and in our careers sector to reach world-class vocational education. An important aspect of vocational education is that it is very closely linked with low levels of youth unemployment. It is also crucial that, with the right approach to vocational education, we can address the needs of all young people and young women in particular; we can address the barriers that women face in the workplace and issues such as occupational segregation.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment (Angela Constance)

This Government has invested in a wide range of employment initiatives that are directly helping to create sustainable employment opportunities for young people in Dumfries and Galloway. Those opportunities include more than 2,500 modern apprenticeship starts in the past three years; 145 young people being supported through community jobs Scotland in the past three years; the creation of 341 new jobs for young people through the youth employment Scotland fund in the past two years; and almost 1,000 starts on the employability fund between this year and the last.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

I appreciate that the claimant count is marginally higher in Dumfries and Galloway than it is in the rest of the country, although the youth employment rate in Dumfries and Galloway has increased substantially over the year. It is now at 63 per cent, which is above the national average.

Nonetheless, the member is right that underemployment is indeed an issue for young people, particularly in rural areas. That was one of the reasons why we went the length and breadth of the country holding discussions in many parts of Scotland, because there are unique challenges in rural parts of Scotland. That approach has certainly helped to inform our views about how we progress with vocational education training to meet the particular needs of rural areas and has particularly informed the work that we are doing in the strategic group on women and work.

There is also the need for added flexibility, bearing in mind that, for some young people in rural areas—this point applies to young people with disabilities as well—their transitions can be disrupted. Therefore, where we can, we have extended the offer of national schemes from people aged 16 to 24 to people aged 16 to 29—for example, with the youth employment Scotland fund.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Angela Constance

Joan McAlpine raises two important issues. The south-west of Scotland, including Dumfries and Galloway, will indeed benefit from youth employment initiative funds. We are meeting our local authority partners to progress that and to discuss roll-out of that rather substantial fund.

It is no secret that the Government and I are whole-heartedly in favour of the European youth guarantee. Parliament also voted in favour of that position. I have written to the UK Government a number of times to make it clear that the work programme and the youth contract are failing to intervene early enough. The most recent reply that I received was from Esther McVey on 24 October, just last week, in which she said:

“We do not think that the UK endorsement of this initiative would either be necessary or cost-effective.”

I strongly dispute that view. We must prevent youth unemployment from becoming long-term unemployment, which means acting from day 1 of a young person’s unemployment.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11332.2 Jenny Marra: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
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NoDefeated

S4M-11332.1 Gavin Brown: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
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NoDefeated

S4M-11332 Fergus Ewing: Supported Business—That the Parliament recognises the economic and social va
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YesCarried

S4M-11304.3 Michael Russell: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to mo
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YesCarried

S4M-11304 Liz Smith: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament believes
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YesCarried

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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Not VotedCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Angela Constance
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10829: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10214: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09744: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Parliamentary Bureau, Date Lodged: 16/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09575: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09376: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08462: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07939: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06492: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05319: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/01/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05109: Angela Constance, Almond Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/12/2012 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S3W-37111: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/10/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3O-11446: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/09/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34741: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34740: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34459: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34461: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34460: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3O-10609: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/05/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-32037: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/03/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-32036: Angela Constance, Livingston, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/03/2010 Show Full Question >>

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