Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) looking for 125 job losses in the face of more than £20 million in budget cuts, even people like this struggle now

Dear All

You would think that the people who are trying to get you a job would be in a pretty good position.

A job for life springs to mind.

Down at Skills Development Scotland (SDS), they are looking for 125 voluntary redundancies in the face of more than £20 million in budget cuts.

Both numbers are an eye opener.

Skills Development Scotland are tasked with getting Scots back into work but in the teeth of a deep recession which will go deeper bringing lengthening dole queues, they are getting chopped down.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) provides career advice and organises apprenticeships so expect a knock on effect as more people try to access a smaller service.

Union negotiators said SDS is suffering the deepest cuts of any Scottish quango and that because of ring-fencing of training budgets by the Government, it means the only place to cut has to come from laying off their own personnel.

The proposed cuts come on the back of 90 redundancies which happened only last year.

Gerry Crawley, regional organiser of Unison,said:

“It strikes me as bizarre that during a time of high unemployment, the organisation that gives career advice is being hit hardest.”

I have to say, he does have a point, if people like this can’t hold on to their jobs with their experience and knowledge then what hope for the rest of the public?

Crawley added:

“You cannot deliver the same service without 125 people. It is a huge loss.”

Although Bosses have stressed there will be no compulsory redundancies and said a voluntary severance scheme had been opened, if 125 don’t step up then it isn’t a stretch to come to the conclusion this standpoint will be forced to shift.

For the Labour Party, this development gives them a chance to exercise their favourite hobby, complaining.

David Whitton, Labour skills spokesman said:

“It simply doesn’t make sense that the agency tasked with helping people find alternative employment if they lose their job is itself making 125 people redundant in the teeth of a recession. How can we have a credible skills strategy in Scotland when the people tasked with delivering it are all being shown the door?”

Vaughan Hart of the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council takes a different perspective by saying the cuts suggested the body “must have been over staffed in the first instance”.

Quangos have a bad reputation for being unelected and unaccountable but still when you only have so much money; you have to cut your cloth accordingly.

The well is running dry but not much comfort for the 125 facing the chop; they have done nothing wrong except being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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