A global survey says standards in reading, maths and science are falling.
Business Service Creates 385 Jobs
Almost 400 jobs are being created by a new business support service which is being set up in Glasgow, the First Minister has announced.
Alex Salmond said that Geniac - which will offer accounting, legal, HR and insurance services to small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) - is to take on 385 skilled workers over the next three years.
The company, which is being supported with £1.1 million of public cash, has been founded by entrepreneurs and business consultants Eduardo Martinez and Michael Galvin, after they spotted a gap in the market for a company providing professional services to support growing businesses.
Mr Salmond said: "Today's Geniac jobs along with the latest employment figures are yet further positive signs that Scotland is an attractive place to invest and demonstrates Scotland's economic recovery is ongoing.''
He added: "By pure coincidence, these 385 jobs are being announced in what is my 385th week as First Minister.
"Now 72,000 young people are unemployed in Scotland - a drop of 29,000 over the year - and the lowest level since 2008. Scotland now has a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate and lower inactivity rate for young people than the rest of the UK.''
The First Minister, who met Geniac's co-founders in Glasgow, said the company would "free up those who run businesses to focus on what matters most - growing their businesses''.
Mr Salmond added: "The Scottish Government is constantly working to make sure Scotland is the best place in the UK to do business, and I'm delighted companies like Geniac are taking advantage of it.''
Mr Galvin said: "We believe that if you take away the 'pain' of business - the day-to-day essential services such as contracts, accounts, compliance issues, pensions and insurance - then the owner and driving force of the business is freed up to get on with what they want to do best - grow, nurture and develop their business.''
Meanwhile Mr Martinez said they had chosen Glasgow as their first centre "because of the wealth of talent, support and academic acumen that exists in Scotland''.
Geniac will collaborate with leading UK outsourcing business Webhelp UK, as an investor and a partner, while law firm Harper Macleod LLP is another key supporter of the new company.
Mr Martinez added: "Working with the Scottish Government and our partners Webhelp UK and Harper Macleod enables us to draw on firmly cemented networks and expertise that together will support us in fostering SME and startup growth throughout the UK.
"We have started building strong ties with the local entrepreneurial community and look forward to enabling these new Scottish businesses to reach their full potential.''
The company has been awarded £1.1 million of funding through the Regional Selective Assistance scheme, with Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson saying they were ``delighted to support Geniac's growth''
She stated: "The fact that the company identified Scotland as the premier location for their business also strengthens our position as a key location for business services.
"We look forward to continuing our work with Geniac as they build their operations here in Scotland.''
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