By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie has warned that Scotland’s further education sector needs support now with many colleges in danger of going to the wall.

Baillie has said that colleges across Scotland, including West College Scotland at Clydebank, are in dire straits due to the huge disruption of the pandemic and years of under-funding.

Further education will play a key role in Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic, and Scottish Labour has committed to providing a re-sit guarantee at a further education institution for all Scottish school leavers who feel that their attainment was impacted as a result of COVID-19.

Jackie Baillie, LEFT, the Labour candidate for Dumbarton in the Scottish Parliament election on May 6,  has called upon the Scottish Government to engage with college principals, the SQA and the Scottish Funding Council to agree an emergency recovery plan for Scotland’s Colleges.

Jackie Baillie said: “14 years of SNP failure and the damage done by the pandemic have left our colleges in crisis. I know that many colleges, including West College Scotland in my own community, are in desperate need of additional support.

“We know that further education will play a key role in delivering the skilled jobs that will fuel our recovery, but with headcount and enrolment dropping drastically and the number of apprenticeships drying up, it’s clear that the SNP has taken its eye off the ball.

“It’s time for this SNP government to wake up to the threat posed to Scotland’s colleges and to engage with the sector urgently. It is no good waiting months from now and expecting colleges to play their part in recovery because they may well not be there.

“We cannot leave a generation of students and young people behind. Scottish Labour will fight this election with an Education Comeback Plan to deliver a free re-sit guarantee for all Scottish school leavers who feel that their attainment was impacted as a result of COVID-19.

 “The scale of the jobs crisis facing the country demands action, and I  will continue to fight for a fair deal for Scotland’s colleges in order to secure a brighter future for our young people.”

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