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Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has questioned the effectiveness of the Fair Start Scotland scheme after figures showed that only 4% of individuals in the Western Isles referred to the scheme had stayed in their jobs for six months or more.

The 4% figure is the lowest for any local authority area in Scotland. Out of 130 people in the Western Isles who joined the scheme just five were still in employment in the scheme six months later.

The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “Unfortunately this flagship scheme of the Scottish Government does not appear to be delivering sustainable long-term employment for local people in the way it was hoped.

“Given the scale of the jobs challenge facing us in the wake of the pandemic, we need schemes which actually deliver.

“The SNP should have reviewed the scheme and acted before now to make it more effective.”