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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Government defeat in skills vote
The new strategy for skills was rejected by MSPs
The Scottish Government has suffered a defeat at Holyrood, with opposition parties rejecting a motion on its skills strategy.

The defeat was the second for the SNP administration since it came to power in May. It was defeated on the issue of Edinburgh trams in June.

Opposition parties combined to vote down a motion seeking support for its new skills strategy.

With MSPs voting on party lines, three opposition motions were also defeated.

Earlier this week, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the strategy, which includes the merger of agencies Careers Scotland and learndirect Scotland.

We will continue to work to deliver the skills strategy launched by the Scottish Government this week
A Scottish Government spokeswoman

In a debate in the chamber on Wednesday, Ms Hyslop promised "a more focused, streamlined and flexible system that is better suited to deliver the needs of Scotland for today and tomorrow".

However, a government motion noting delivery of the strategy and calling for support was defeated by 72 votes to 47.

Labour's enterprise spokesman Iain Gray said: "This is another bloody nose for Fiona Hyslop and the SNP.

"They came to Parliament with a skills strategy that was pitifully light and lacking any sense of the urgency needed to ensure Scotland maintains its skills base."

'Push ahead'

He called for the government to "come forward urgently with something sharper".

Liberal Democrat education spokesman Jeremy Purvis also urged the Nationalists to come up with fresh policies for skills.

After the vote a Scottish government spokeswoman said: "We will continue to work to deliver the skills strategy launched by the Scottish Government this week in the interests of Scotland's people and its economy."

She stated that parliament had failed to arrive at any conclusion following the debate.

The spokeswoman added: "The strategy has been warmly welcomed by a broad range of stakeholders including the CBI, STUC and Scottish Chambers of Commerce and we look forward to working with them and the other parties to push ahead."

Ministers to merge careers bodies
10 Sep 07 |  Scotland
Climbdown after transport defeat
27 Jun 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife


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