Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, is welcoming the announcement of £13million in funding to increase the provision of college courses.
Further Education is too often 'sidelined', she says.
The Scottish Funding Council and European Social Fund support will target courses in skilled employment such as the energy industry.
On Friday Alison Johnstone visited the Midlothian campus of Edinburgh College to hear about its pioneering role in developing the skills needed by the renewable energy industry.
"Colleges are crucial to our economy and provide the kind of flexible learning that so many people are seeking. To date the Scottish Government has sidelined colleges, so I welcome any new funding for the sector. It remains important that we support part-time courses, and that we secure fairer pay for further education lecturers."
"Gearing our students towards the renewables sector and other new industries will be crucial for our economy and for job prospects. Our colleges are hugely underappreciated and I will continue to champion them."