MEP Gets Hands Dirty - Smith Begins Work Experience 2009

30 July 2009
It's that time of year again for SNP MEP Alyn Smith to get his hands mucky as next week his annual week of work experience and general hard graft kicks off.

Since his election in 2004, Smith has spent the first two weeks of recess on placements in a variety of trades: at sea on a trawler; as a postman; with the SSPCA; in a distillery, and even a day as a bin man in Glasgow.

This year, freshly re-elected in the SNP's election victory, Smith will commence proceedings this coming Monday at 8am, where he will spend a full day deer stalking at Invermark Estate, Brechin. After he has dusted off his walking shoes and nursed a few blisters, he will then hit the trail to Inverness on the Tuesday to turn his hands to lumberjacking, where he will assist with a forest planning exercise at Strathmashie forest at Laggan. Following a day at the Black Isle Show, Smith will top off his action-packed week by spending a day as a Marshall at Forth Ports on the Thursday working on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry, a vital international link for Scotland. But it does not stop there! In September, Smith will saddle up and spend the day horse grooming at Belwade Farm, Aberdeenshire.

Speaking from Edinburgh, Mr Smith said:

"I'm hugely looking forward to work experience this year, even if I will need a couple of early nights. We do this every year as I do find it invaluable to actually get under the skin of the job, and I always, always, learn far more about the trade than I ever would from briefings in meeting rooms. With so many issues crossing my desk it is essential I master my brief and the work experience helps me do that, as well as see some spectacular parts of Scotland.

"This year will prove particularly interesting as I am experiencing a plethora of industries. I firmly believe that you can only get a genuine taster on the issues and difficulties facing trades if you get out there and experience it first hand. As the only Scots politician to undertake this sort of venture, I find it valuable to get more of a feel for issues than I could ever get from reading briefing papers.

"I hope that my work experience at different locations over the next week will highlight matters facing Scotland's trades, allowing me to address them and hopefully tackle them. I anticipate that I will come out of these experiences with more than just splinters and tired feet; but an overall better understanding of the issues affecting some of Scotland's most treasured trades so that I can be more useful to them when I get back to Brussels."