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The appointment comes after Graeme Dey, who formerly held the post, announced his resignation for “health-related reasons” earlier on Monday.
Ms Gilruth’s role will include overseeing a range of policy areas including the forthcoming transfer of Scotland’s railways into public hands, reducing carbon emissions from the country’s transport network and delivering new ferries for island communities.
As a member of the Net Zero portfolio, the MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes will also play a key role in ensuring Scotland meets its climate targets.
The second change has been the appointment of Neil Gray MSP as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development subject to Parliamentary approval.
The MSP for Airdrie and Shotts will work with the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution and his new role will focus on Scotland’s major events, the creative industries and international development.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The appointment of Jenny Gilruth as Transport Minister and Neil Gray as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development is a vote of confidence in a new generation of ministerial talent.
“Jenny has proven herself to be an effective representative for Scotland and has championed Scotland’s cultural sector through difficult times.
First Minister @NicolaSturgeon has announced two changes to her Ministerial team.
Jenny Gilruth will take on the Transport portfolio with immediate effect.
Find out more⬇️https://t.co/Dr1IWGNYcH pic.twitter.com/svnX6qgZZz
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) January 24, 2022
“Neil has shown real promise as convener of the Social Justice and Social Security committee in his short time in Holyrood and I know he will bring the drive, passion and determination he has shown in parliament into government.”
Ms Gilruth said: “The transport portfolio is an exciting opportunity to not just shape the infrastructure of our country but to also help Scotland become a world leader in achieving our goal to become net zero by 2045.
“It has been a privilege to work with our international and cultural community over the last few years and I am looking forward to this new challenge.
“A lot of great work is already under way and I look forward to leading a low carbon revolution across Scotland’s transport system.”
Mr Gray said it was “an honour” to be asked to join the Scottish Government team.
He added: “I look forward to building on the great work of my predecessor by further strengthening our relations across the globe and supporting the creative industries as they set out to recover from some of the hardest years for the sector in recent memory.”