COLLEGES IN MORAY and throughout the Highlands have seen over 30,000 part-time places axed, according to new figures lodged at the Scottish Parliament.
A north east Tory MSP has described as “shameful” figures that reveal 20,063 places have been cut in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire while a total of 11,266 part-time slots at eight colleges in the Highlands and Moray have been replaced with 906 full-time places.
Alex Johnstone MSP said: “Hundreds of local people are being denied the opportunity to study in a way that is flexible to them.
“Yet again the SNP government has effectively slammed the door on the face of opportunity. Most people just want to get on in life – but the SNP have denied them this right.
“With the slashing of college places it is no great surprise that businesses are increasingly worried about the skills gap.”
However, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government insisted that they had exceeded their target to maintain the number of full-time students in each of the last three years.
She said: “We have made courses that improve a student’s employability our focus – with the average hours of education a student receives increasing from 250 to almost 400.