I’m a great believer in education – who isn’t? I’m educated to postgraduate level myself and committed to lifelong learning. As an antenatal teacher, I have a diploma in adult education and I also have a role as postgraduate tutor for pharmacy throughout Highland, as well as Northern and western Isles, using VC technology to bring people together to learn. My mum was a lecturer in Gaelic in Aberdeen University. I believe education gives people great opportunities.

Better skills means new and better jobs, higher salaries and new business opportunities.

We know that investment in early years making the greatest difference. But we need investment in all areas.

It’s great that the Scottish Government is funding the building new Schools. But there are workforce challenges in education too, with some areas struggling to recruit teachers and especially headteachers. Again creative solutions will be required, like providing admin support so that heads can be educators and the job is more attractive. Other areas of Scotland are “growing their own” teaching staff, supporting graduate council employees to retrain as teachers. We need to consider that too.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is a huge asset, and as well as enabling study closer to home, it will create high quality job opportunities throughout the region.