CONSERVATIVE hopeful Julie Pirone wants to help forge a better link between education and jobs.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire North election candidate feels pupils should be given more choice before they leave school to make them better prepared for the workforce.

“One of the most important things is sustaining jobs in Paisley and Renfrewshire North, as well as bringing new jobs in,” she said.

“We need to increase the pass rates and inclusion in our schools so that young people can get better jobs and stay in the local area.

“To me, education is very much linked to the business community and to the economy. So, if you have a strong local economy, you’ve got jobs for those young people leaving school to go to.

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“Not everybody goes to university. And we need to be doing more for those people.”

Mrs Pirone believes pupils should stay in the education system until the age of 18 and be offered other training outwith the classroom. She also wants better quality apprenticeships at minimum or living wage.

“If we have a strong local economy with a good, diverse range of jobs, then we need to broaden the education we’re giving our kids,” she continued.

“We used to have the best education system in the world. Young people leaving secondary education have less opportunities and less subject choice now than they had before.

“We need different skills now in the next generation than when we did when I went to school. And that’s really important to me.”

When asked if she wants to see a major boost in public spending to match her plans, she said: “If we’re getting the extra money from what the Conservative government says it is going to spend, then automatically Scotland benefits from that.

“And I hope that the Scottish Government would be willing to invest in the education of our young people further.”

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