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Politics: Positive destinations are welcomed after a challenging couple of years

By David Porter

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New statistics have shown 93.9 per cent of pupils across Aberdeenshire were in a ‘positive destination’ within nine months of leaving school last year.

The latest figures show that 2631 school leavers from Aberdeenshire went on to including work, training or further study.

They are very welcome and are in line with figures across Scotland which show that 93.2 per cent of pupils overall who left school last year were in a positive destination, which includes work, training or further study, nine months later - up from 92.2 per cent in the previous year.

It is brilliant to see 93.9 per cent of pupils across Aberdeenshire are going on to positive destinations – whether that be work, training or further study.

After what has been a significantly challenging couple of years for our young people, all credit must be given to them for overcoming the challenges and the hard work of them and all those who have supported them.

I am grateful that the Scottish Government is ensuring that strong action is being taken to fulfil our commitment to get it right our every child, providing the support and environment to give all our young people the best possible change to succeed – no matter what their background.

From investing in tackling the poverty-related attainment gap, free tuition, or introducing the back-to-work Jobs Grant for people aged 16 to 24 – the SNP in Government is taking actions to prioritise young people in Aberdeenshire.

Retired ambulance driver Murray Ingram receives his jab.
Retired ambulance driver Murray Ingram receives his jab.

Those eligible for their spring booster have until the end of June to get it and with coronavirus cases on the rise once again, I would encourage those in the eligible groups to ensure they have it.

The additional vaccinations have been offered to people aged 75 or over and those aged over 12 who are immunosuppressed with clinics operating until the end of the month.

Anyone in these groups who has not yet come forward can book online or call the national vaccination helpline seven days a week to make an appointment which suits them.

The booster provides important extra protection for our most vulnerable groups and we know vaccinations are our most effective took against coronavirus.

Almost 90 per cent of over 75s and around two thirds of those who are aged over 12 and are immunosuppressed have already taken up the offer of a spring booster and if you have missed yours for any reason then you can rearrange it online at NHS Inform or by calling the helpline on 0800 030 8013 seven days a week between 8am and 8pm.

Finally, I was pleased to see changes to payment dates for farmers to help support them with cash flow amid the cost of living crisis.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon has confirmed that, subject to approval from the Scottish Parliament, farmers will receive their advance payment for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening around a month earlier than planned.

It follows a request from farming groups in Scotland to relieve immediate inflationary pressures and protect jobs in Scotland’s world-leading food and drink sector.

Following a review of the legislative, IT and budget requirements to bring the date forward, payments will now start to issue from 19 September 2022 instead of 16 October 2022.

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