Scottish Visas

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 22nd January 2004.

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Photo of Christine May Christine May Labour 12:00 pm, 22nd January 2004

I am grateful to the First Minister for his answer and, in particular, for his comments on the need to nurture home-grown talent. Will he join me in welcoming some of that talent, the pupils from Carleton Primary School in my constituency, who are in the gallery?—[ Applause.]

Scotland has a declining population and there are skills shortages in certain technical and professional disciplines. For example, a firm in Glenrothes in my constituency might have to go abroad to recruit advanced software engineers. Will the First Minister assure the chamber that he will raise the matter when he next meets the Home Secretary and when he next discusses the fresh talent programme?