Malcolm asks the First Minister to intervene in the Telford College dispute
Telford College cuts and consequentials Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
Given that business, tourism and information technology are central to the Edinburgh economy, is the First Minister as appalled as I am that Edinburgh's Telford College, in my constituency, is talking about axing most of the teaching staff in its departments on those subjects in addition to support staff throughout the college?

Will he intervene in that desperate situation, and will he ensure that Telford College gets a fair share of the Westminster consequentials that were announced for further education last week, along with corresponding bursary support, so that more, rather than fewer, students can be taught?

Alex Salmond (The First Minister):
The constituency member is correct that the consequentials were announced last week. They will be distributed by the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council. He will be aware that the tourism sector has been identified in relation to modern apprenticeships and work with colleges, and he will also be aware that colleges have benefited substantially from the accelerated capital investment that the Government has put in place.

Although he will welcome that investment and the current situation, like me he will no doubt be looking forward with trepidation to the cuts - whether of £500 million, £1 billion or 2 per cent in real terms - that might well be on offer from a Tory or Labour Government at Westminster. That is exactly why we need political power in this Parliament, so that we do not have that perspective from either of those Westminster parties..
June 11th 2009, (Column 18326)