WOMEN nearing retirement have blasted a "stupid" pensions minister after suggesting they take up apprenticeships.

Glasgow's Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group were horrified to hear the comments from Guy Opperman, the new Pensions Minister.

He made the comments at a debate in Westminster earlier this week, and was met with cries of "shame" from MPs.

Fellow Tory MPs and DUP MPs were among dozens of politicians who said that the changes to state pension age are unfair.

Millions of women across the country, and around 23,0000 in Glasgow, have been affected by the plans to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66 by 2020 for women born in the 1950's.

WASPI members argue they had little time to react because the plans were fast-tracked by the Tory government, and many will be left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Earlier this week, Mr Opperman said the government would not change laws, but instead highlighted “extended apprenticeship opportunities” to get older people into work.

Rosie Dickson,59, is one of the co-founders of the WASPI Glasgow group, and has warned there are still women in Glasgow who do not realise they won't get their pensions at the age of 60.

She said: "I have been to see the older person's coach here in Glasgow to try and get work and there it literally nothing.

"There are only 2500 modern apprenticeships in the Glasgow area. We have 23,000 women affected in Glasgow.

"Who in their 60s is going to go and take an apprenticeship from a young person? People aren't going to take jobs from their grandchildren.

"The suggestion is completely unbelievable.

"If I took an apprenticeship tomorrow and went back to work, I would be 63 before I finished, and I would get my pension at 66 anyway.

"They would only get three years out of me, compared to a young person who has their whole life ahead of them for work.

"They are trying to create generational warfare. we're not having it."

Rosie added that the group will meet tomorrow to discuss the debate and their next steps forward for the campaign.

They have cross-party support for their plight in Holyrood, and a number of Westminster MPs who are also supporting their cause.

Rosie added: "The stupid comments from Guy Opperman, he said you can turn to ESA[employment support allowance] and JSA[job seeker's allowance]...these are women who don't even want to look at the benefit system.

"We paid in all our lives. To turn round at this stage and say we have to go and sign on, when most of us have never had to do that, is just disgraceful."

Any woman who may be affected by the changes and wants to get involved with the campaign should email waspiglas73@gmail.com. or search on Facebook for 'Waspi Glasgow and Lanarkshire'.