A Scottish Government report has projected that nearly 500 jobs within the education sector across the three Ayrshire regions will go within the next decade.
Both the Scottish Government and south of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth say that the projected figures reflect the continuing austerity measures of the Westminster Government.
However a spokesman for the Scottish Government added that the figures provided include every single role that can be even vaguely defined as teaching – from driving instructors to yoga instructors, non-commercial pilot training to horse-riding classes.
Skills Development Scotland is the national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills.
As part of its Regional Skills Assessments the agency does projections of how many people will be employed in different sectors of the Scottish economy.
It has projected that across Scotland 4,962 posts will go between the period 2015 and 2024, including 178 jobs in East Ayrshire, 121 jobs in North Ayrshire and 199 in South Ayrshire, meaning 498 jobs in total could be gone over the next decade.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said recently that education will be her number one priority.
Colin Smyth MSP said: “There is no doubt that a major reason for these likely loss of jobs is continuing government cuts whether it is to council’s struggling to properly staff schools, our colleges who have seen funding and therefore course being reduced and our university campus which isn’t growing anywhere near to the potential it has.
”The Government needs to put a stop to these cuts before see more jobs go in our region, The fact that all three councils are seeing major loses shows the impact this will have on our economy.”
A Scottish Government Spokesperson said: “These claims completely misunderstand this information, and what it means in a context of Scottish education.
“The figures provided include every single role that can be even vaguely defined as teaching – from driving instructors to yoga instructors, non-commercial pilot training to horse-riding classes.
“As such, long term forecasts are based on recent data for this wide ranging definition.
“As has been noted by independent forecasters, downward trends reflect austerity measures and a slowdown in consumer spending, which then has an impact on private and commercial parts of the sector.”