Scotland's Economy

Primark invest in Edinburgh

February 15, 2012 by No Comments | Category Employment

In December major retailer Primark open its long-awaited store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street. This is significant for two reasons. Firstly it’s changed the shopping landscape on one of the world’s most famous streets. Secondly, it has brought more than 500 jobs to city.

On visiting the store today, I was very pleased to hear that 369 jobs have gone to young people aged 16-25, offering those who were successful a chance to take a step onto the career ladder, improve their employability and perhaps map out a long and fruitful career in retail.

I was able to briefly meet with some of the young trainees employed on site and was very much taken with their enthusiasm. This is a theme I have picked up in recent weeks, where I’ve been able to hear about the experiences and needs of young people who have found work.

Much of Primark’s success in Edinburgh has been achieved by the company working closely with the city council, Skills Development Scotland and Jobcentre Plus to help match up potential employees with the right vacancies and give young people the chance to shine. This is something I want to see more of and understand that Primark and West Lothian have done something similar for the opening of their Livingston store.

The Scottish Government has guaranteed every 16-19 year old a place in education or training through Opportunities for All and I have announced funding packages for Community Jobs Scotland and other parts of the third sector to work with employees on developing job opportunities.

However, we could do so much more to help young people into employment if we were a government with job creating powers and today’s employment figures underline the need for action.

The Scottish Government is delivering a budget for growth and we are using every lever available to us to secure new investment and create and safeguard jobs. But in order to maximise our capability of ensuring our young people can maximise their potential, such powers are vital and can only truly be grasped through independence and that is why we are currently consulting on the referendum on independence in 2014. For more information visit Your Scotland, Your Referendum.

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