ACCORDING to the Office for National Statistics, net migration from countries outside the EU to the UK has hit the highest level in 15 years, but experts warn that the UK Government’s immigration plans could reduce the number of workers in Scotland by up to five per cent over the next two decades.

This will have an extremely adverse effect on almost all professions in Scotland, from health to manual labour.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently announced £100,000 of new funding for an initiative to help drive entrepreneurship among women in Scotland. Connecting entrepreneurs with experienced business mentors, the Scottish Chamber of Commerce will partner with the Scottish Association of Business Women to administer the ‘Future Female Business Leaders’ programme.

In a speech at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce ‘Women in Business’ lunch, Sturgeon stated: “Helping more women to set up and succeed in business is both an economic and a moral imperative. We can create greater equality which in turn builds a stronger and fairer economy.”

On Thursday, I sponsored a Parliamentary event for CAPS Independent Advocacy to promote the importance of mental health awareness. CAPS provides free one-on-one assistance to those experiencing mental health challenges in Midlothian and East Lothian. CAPS also participates in group awareness projects throughout the community, raising more local awareness about various mental health issues, helping those experiencing mental health issues present their views and voice their opinions. For example, in East Lothian, CAPS recently held a consultation to help their clients navigate the universal credit system.

CAPS Independent Advocacy helps those dealing with mental health issues get the treatment they deserve and really make a difference in their communities.