Government ministers make key announcements on GCU campus

14 May 2013

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on campus

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on campus

Two Scottish government ministers announced boosts to Scottish jobs during two separate events hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on Tuesday (May 14).

Health Secretary Alex Neil revealed that 150 Ambulance Technicians are to start work across Scotland following a £6.8 million investment while deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, unveiled plans for a £1.9 million funding package which will be used to develop new business facilities on Skye while supporting up to 80 new jobs.

Mr Neil met with some of the latest group of additional trainees to start the Ambulance Technicians course at the Scottish Ambulance Service Academy, which is based at GCU. 

The increase of 150 staff Ambulance Technicians will allow a change in working hours that ensures ambulance workers get planned rest breaks in their shifts, but are still able to attend emergency calls when required. 

Mr Neil said: “We know that the priority of ambulance staff is their patients and the new ways of working which these additional staff will support will, in turn, help all staff to respond to those emergency cases who need them the most,”

Professor Veronica James, Executive Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences, accompanied the minister on his visit. She said:

“It was a huge pleasure to be able to show the minister and David Garbutt, Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Board, how closely the Scottish Ambulance Academy and GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences work together.

“As we toured the simulation upgrades with Mr Neil, John Burnham of the
Scottish Ambulance Academy was explaining how all the different environments contribute to their work and to improving inter-professional practice ‘because that is what it is like in the services’.”

Meanwhile, speaking at a European Structural Funds event also held at GCU, the Deputy First Minister announced that the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture Sabhal Mor Ostaig – has received funding to develop a 1,050 square metre building which will provide space for up to 20 new businesses and offer accommodation for 20 staff at its Kilbeg Village site.

Due for completion in 2015, it will support up to 60 new jobs in the construction sector including six youth apprenticeships and more than 20 full-time positions within the new development.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Investment in projects like the Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye is absolutely key for stimulating economic growth throughout Scotland. In these tough economic times it is vital that we support opportunities that help create new jobs and apprenticeship places while offering assistance to develop and improve our rural communities.”