School leavers in Midlothian and East Lothian continue to go on to positive destinations after finishing secondary school – with the latest figures showing 94% of youngsters in East Lothian and 94.7% of youngsters in Midlothian going into further or higher education, employment or training three months after leaving school.
The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3% last year to 93.7% this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.
In East Lothian, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 88.4% in 2011/12 to 94.0% this year – an increase of 5.6%. Of those in positive destinations, 40% are at University and 24% are at college, while 26% are in employment and 2% are in training.
In Midlothian, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 85.8% in 2011/12 to 94.7% this year – an increase of 8.9%. Of those in positive destinations, 31% are at University and 28% are at college, while 30% are in employment and 2% are in training.
Commenting on the latest stats, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie said:
“The Scottish Government continues to make education its priority this parliament – and these figures reflect just how important SNP action on education is for our young people.
“Being able to go on to a positive destination after leaving school – whether that is college, university, work or training – is a great boost for young people across the Lothians, improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.
“That more young people across East Lothian and Midlothian are going on to positive destinations this year than previously – up from 88.4% to 94% and 85.8% to 94.7%, respectively, over the last six years – is fantastic news for our local communities..
“Our young people need fulfilling work, study or training after leaving school to help ensure they don’t get left behind – and these positive figures for Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland show that they are benefitting from exactly that.”
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie met with Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution Derek Mackay recently to make him aware of the proposal made by Rosewell Primary School’s Primary 7 pupils regarding votes at 13.
On Monday 5th February, Mr Beattie met with the Rosewell pupils and listened as they put forward various thoughtful and passionate arguments as to why the voting age should be lowered and why this was of great importance to them. After taking their arguments into careful consideration, Mr Beattie promised the pupils he would raise the issue at Parliament, making sure their voices were heard by the Cabinet Secretary responsible.
Of the pupils, Colin Beattie said: “They made a very eloquent pitch for votes at 13 and I promised to ensure their voices were heard. They are among my youngest constituents but they have the same rights as every other resident to be heard and for their suggestions to be taken seriously.”
“It is important to receive comments from the widest possible range of members of the community. I was only too happy to pass on the proposal made by Rosewell PS P7 on this subject to the Cabinet Secretary for his information. There are currently no plans to extend the franchise to 13 year olds.”
Scottish tourist attractions had more visitors than ever before in 2017 – with over 30 million visitors passing through their doors throughout the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
The latest figures from the Association of Scottish Visitors Attractions show 77% of visitor sites reporting an increase in the number of visits – helping support the local tourist economy across Midlothian and East Lothian
An increase in tourism has also helped create a booming accommodation market with a 17 per cent increase of visitors staying in self-catering accommodation, and a 13 per cent rise in serviced accommodation, in Edinburgh and the Lothians since last year.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie said:
“These latest figures are great to see – and show that Midlothian and Scotland remain favourite destinations for tourists, with our world leading attractions seeing over 30 million visitors during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“The £4.6bn being spent on tourist day trips annually is a brilliant contribution to the Scottish economy that we should continue to encourage – while the increase in people staying overnight in our local hotels and guest houses boosts our local economy in Midlothian and East Lothian
“Tourists boost our restaurants, pubs and cafes by spending around £995 million on food and drink annually while visiting Scotland – and the whole tourist industry is worth over £6 billion to Scotland, supporting jobs and livelihoods across the Lothians.
“It’s no surprise that visitor numbers continue to rise across Scotland – attractions such as Newhailes House and Dalkeith Country Park will always bring people from far and wide to this corner of the country, and these figures are something for all of us to celebrate.”
The Scottish Government’s budget protects low and middle income earners and delivers for public services and public sector workers, SNP MSP for Midlothian Colin Beattie has said as Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) (No.2) Bill is laid before the Scottish Parliament.
The budget delivers progressive reforms to Scotland’s income tax system, with modest increases on higher earners, while 70% of taxpayers will pay less than they did last year and 55% will pay less than the rest of the UK. Opinion polling found that Scots back the SNP’s tax plans by 2 to 1.
The Budget will also deliver an additional £400 million for the NHS, an expansion in childcare, more spending on broadband, extra funding for our police and fire services, and a pay rise for hard-working public sector employees.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“This is a budget for a stronger economy and a fairer society – with increased funding for the NHS and protection for low and middle income earners.
“The Scottish Government is delivering lower income tax for 70% of Scots, with every worker earning less than £33,000 paying less in tax next year – while protecting public services across Midlothian and East Lothian that we all hold dear.
“This budget brings an additional £400 million to NHS Scotland, delivers a pay rise for public sector workers, £756 million for affordable homes, additional funding for the arts and culture sector, a £4 billion investment in infrastructure, including in superfast broadband, as well as significant investments in research, education and childcare.
“In the face of massive Westminster cuts, ongoing Tory austerity and a damaging hard Brexit – this budget provides investment to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.”
MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS TO BE REMOVED FROM STRANGER SNAPCHAT SEARCH FOLLOWING SNP MSP PRESSURE
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has joined the campaign to boost internet safety for young people – after pressure from SNP MSPs Kevin Stewart and Gillian Martin led to Snapchat removing primary schools from their search function.
Marking Safer Internet Day, local MSP Colin Beattie backed this action and called on Snapchat to go further and also remove secondary schools from its search tool – which allows strangers to find and watch videos from these locations.
And Mr Beattie is also encouraging pupils in his constituency to take part in a nationwide film competition that aims to raise awareness of the dangers related to sending nude photos online.
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie said:
“I appreciate the efforts made by my SNP MSP colleagues Gillian Martin and Kevin Stewart that have made Snapchat safer for children all over East Lothian, Midlothian and Scotland – and I hope that Snapchat go even further and remove secondary schools as well.
“Parents should speak with their children to make sure they know how to stay safe online and understand the risks of posting certain information – and I am glad to be involved in the campaign to raise awareness of this serious issue.
“The upcoming nationwide film competition is a great initiative that gives children across the constituency the opportunity to engage with these dangers in a creative manner.
“And Tuesday’s Parliamentary debate brings this issue to the forefront and highlights the increasing risks when sharing personal information online.
“We must all do what we can to help protect our children when it comes to their online activity.”