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Industry praise for apprenticeships backed by First Minister

21 May 2012

  • SDS Press Release Archive
  • All Scotland

Scotland's model of Modern Apprenticeships has been strongly endorsed by Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Scotland's leading independent economic development organisation.

Its' Chief Executive, Dr Lesley Sawers this week commended the programme in meeting both the needs of employers and in supporting people to develop the skills required for a sustainable career.

It comes as Scottish Apprenticeship Week gets underway today (Monday, May 21) with events across the country raising awareness of the programme amongst employers.
The continuing success and popularity of the programme was demonstrated recently when the First Minister revealed that 26,427 Modern Apprenticeships were delivered last year.

Mr Salmond said:
"Jobs, and particularly jobs for young people, are this government's top priority and the record-breaking 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships we delivered last year show the kind of meaningful and lasting opportunities we are providing.

"Last week's employment statistics showed the biggest rise in employment in Scotland since last spring, but unemployment remains far too high.

"The current economic climate continues to put pressure on the opportunities available to our young people and therefore Scottish Apprenticeship Week offers a great chance to showcase what Modern Apprenticeships can provide for both employees and employers.

"The Scottish Government has guaranteed every 16 to19-year-old a place in training or education, and together with Modern Apprenticeships that is helping to make Scotland the best place in these islands for youth opportunities."

Modern Apprenticeships, can be undertaken across occupations from construction to life sciences and the Scottish Government's skills body Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will be working with bosses to support 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships being delivered in each year of this parliament.

Dr Lesley Sawers, Chief Executive, SCDI said: "Improving Scotland's skill base has been one of SCDI's key priorities for a number of years to achieve our overall objective of sustainable economic growth in Scotland. Modern Apprenticeships are a vital part of this work. We welcome the continued commitment of Skills Development Scotland through initiatives like Scottish Apprenticeship Week to support businesses to grow their workforce with the skills they need to succeed."

Modern Apprenticeships have also been endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Their CEO Andy Willox, pointed to the positive impact hiring Modern Apprentices can have on an employer.

He said:

"Our research suggests that businesses that take on Modern Apprentices accrue a range of benefits. Some businesses say that it helps them fill skills gaps while others suggest it helps to improve staff retention or improve levels of productivity within the business.
 
"The FSB wholeheartedly supports Scottish Apprenticeship Week and strongly encourages businesses to investigate the support that SDS can offer small firms."
Find out more

    * Modern Apprenticeships
    * Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2012