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19/03/14 17:05

Media Briefing - Wednesday 19 March, 2014

Media Briefing by the First Minister’s Official Spokesperson – Wednesday 19th March

The First Minister’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) welcomed journalists to the briefing and ran through the day's key events:

The FMOS said the Education Secretary Michael Russell had welcomed today’s labour market statistics. She highlighted that today’s figures show that the number of people employed in Scotland has increased by 15,000 over the last quarter. Scotland has seen employment levels increase in every monthly release for 13 months, with the level of employment in Scotland now just 1,000 below pre-recession levels. The FMOS also indicated Scotland’s unemployment rate now stands at 6.9 per cent, compared to 7.2 per cent in the UK as a whole.

Also today Education Secretary Michael Russell visited Alexander Dennis Limited this morning, welcoming to announcement by the company of £100 million deal with National Express that will result in 600 new low-emission buses joining their fleets.

The FMOS said today Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing had announced formal consent to the world’s third largest offshore wind farm at combined sites of Moray Offshore Renewables and Beatrice Offshore Windfarm in the outer Moray Firth.

The developments, situated off the Caithness coast, will be capable of generating up to 1,866 MW of electricity, enough to power over one million homes, and will be worth up to £2.5 billion to the Scottish economy.

The First Minister’s Official Spokesperson confirmed that the Scottish Government would be issuing a response following the UK budget later today.