Scotland’s young people are to be “empowered” by a raft of ground-breaking measures designed to put them centre stage in the country’s future.
That was the bold promise relayed to Cumbernauld young adults by surprise visitor Nicola Sturgeon – who chose the town’s Jump Gym for the launch of her government’s Youth Manifesto.
The First Minister was clearly use the popular gym as an inspiring exemplar of what Scotland’s youngsters are capable of .
She joined TV’s Line of Duty star Martin Compston for the event, at which the SNP pledged to extend voting rights to 16 and 17-year-olds and boost the minimum wage for under-18’s by more than £1,20 an hour.
It also promises to deliver 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year, and expand entitlement to Educational Maintenance Allowance to support 57,000 school pupils and college students.
Martin Compston said: “Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories all have a track record of broken promises – introducing fees of thousands of pounds a year south of the border and failing to protect young Scots from the worst impacts of Tory cuts.
“Only the SNP can be trusted to stand up for Scotland’s young people.”
Nicola Sturgeon said: “The biggest investment we can make in Scotland’s future is in our young people – and as First Minister I am determined to do everything I can to support and empower them.
“We have restored free higher education – and there will be no tuition fees in Scotland for as long as the SNP are in office.”
If the polls prove accurate, and the SNP send a strong contingent of MPs to Westminster, they’ll support the reduction of tuition fees down south too.
Ms Sturgeon said: “This is an example of the progressive influence the SNP can have at Westminster – and demonstrates exactly how we can help deliver policies for the benefit of people beyond Scotland.
Among those present at the launch event was Stuart Macdonald, the SNP’s parliamentary candidate for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East.
He said: “We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at Jump, with the kids showing off endless enthusiasm as well as some fantastic skills they have picked up under the guidance of Debi, SportScotland community coach of the year.
“Nicola really enjoyed meeting the kids - and they were delighted to meet her!
“We were there with an important message - the SNP is determined to maximise the opportunities available to all our young people to fulfill their potential.”