Local News for Thursday 15th November 2018

ALASDAIR ALLAN HOSTS UIST FERRIES SUMMIT
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan recently chaired a Ferries Summit in Benbecula. The islands MSP organised the summit to discuss the significant disruption and timetable changes ferry services for Uist have experienced over the course of the last year.

The Scottish Government Minister with portfolio responsibility for ferries and islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, and the Managing Directors of Calmac and CMAL were in attendance along with agencies such as HITRANs, HIE and Transport Scotland, community and business representatives, and local councillors.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said: ‘With the financial constraints the Scottish Government faces as a result a budget cut of nearly £2 billion since 2010 by the UK Government, it is important that we make the best possible case that we can for further funding and investment in ferries services. I think the summit has certainly strengthened that case.’


WESTERN ISLES FOUNDATION APPRENTICESHIPS
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partners have secured a Skills Development Scotland contract to the value of £570.000 to support the delivery of Foundation Apprenticeships for the 2019/20 academic year and beyond.

Cllr Angus McCormack, Chairman of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said: “This funding, supported by our charter development programme with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG), Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) programme and European Structural Funding (ESF) funding application, provides a major opportunity for local economic development, education, training and employment opportunities for our young people.”

It is currently being planned to provide Foundation Apprenticeships in Business Administration, Creative Digital Media, Engineering, Food and Drink, Social Services and ChildCare and Social Services and HealthCare.


NICOLSON IN SEMI FINALS OF DEBATE COMPETITION
The Town Hall building in Stornoway was the setting for the first two rounds of the National Gaelic Schools’ Debate recently.

The judges; Iain Steven Morrison, Agnes Rennie and Boyd Robertson, certainly had their work cut out whittling sixteen teams down to four.

The four teams who have reached the semi-final stages of this year’s competition are The Nicolson Institute A, Gairloch High School, Inverness Royal Academy A and Inverness Royal Academy B.

The first semi-final draw will see Inverness Royal Academy B against Inverness Royal Academy A. In the second debate of the evening Gairloch High School will be against The Nicolson Institute A.

The semi-finals will be held at Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh on Tuesday the 27th November 2018. The Final will be held the following evening in the Scottish Parliament and will be broadcasted live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.