MEP Gets Down To Some Real World Experience

13 July 2005
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith is to spend two weeks on work experience across Scotland.

Mr Smith has volunteered his services to a range of industries and organisations across Scotland for some real hard work.

From spending time down on the farm in Selkirk, Mr Smith will be all at sea with the fishermen of Mallaig and rolling out the barrels on Speyside..

Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said

"I've been an MEP for just over a year and see this as a chance to really engage with some of the people who've contacted me with their concerns. It'll be a big difference to sitting in committee meetings or parliamentary debates but some hands on experience will really show me what matters to these industries. I just hope I find my sea legs.

"Some people have suggested this is a bit foolish but I think it's an amazing opportunity to really find out what matters to industries across Scotland so I can take those issues back to the Parliament in Europe.

"Hopefully this doesn't just help me but will produce some real benefits for those who have generously agreed to put up with me for a day or two and have the patience to teach me some tricks of their trade."

Alex Salmond, SNP party leader offered his endorsement to Mr Smith's plans

"This is an excellent initiative by Alyn Smith. As one of Scotland's youngest parliamentarians, Alyn has already shown great enthusiasm and energy standing up for industries as diverse as ship building on the Clyde and fishing across Scotland."

"He will be seeing the many sides of modern Scotland and the experience will prove invaluable to his work representing Scotland in the European Parliament."

Mr Smith's work experience begins on the 18th July and ends on the 28th July.

Schedule is as follows

Monday 18th - Scottish Blood Transfusion Service, Glasgow city centre

Tues 19th - Speyside distillery with Chivas Brothers Ltd, Keith

Wed 20th - filming with SMG on the set of Rebus, Govan

Thurs 21st - farming in Selkirk with NFU Scotland and holding a special surgery with the local farming community

Fri 22nd - Nightshift (5pm - 3am) with A division, Edinburgh City Centre, Lothian and Borders Police starting from Corstorphine station

Mon 25th + 26th - Fishing Trawler off Mallaig with the Mallaig and Northwest Fisherman's Association

Wed 27th - Shell Gas plant in Buchan

Thur 28th - Visit to Oil Rig (unconfirmed - awaiting landing slot)

Details of precise activities and arrangements for photo/media calls will follow.