Thursday, 21 May 2015
Scottish Government provides funding for 500 extra apprenticeship places
First Minister confirms £3.8 million to boost youth employment
An extra 500 Modern Apprenticeship places will be funded over the next year following a £3.8 million investment, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
The funding will also be used to create more opportunities for young people still at school through work-based Foundation Apprenticeships for senior secondary pupils, which will provide industry-recognised qualifications and first hand insight into the world of work.
The 500 places – announced to mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week – are the first step to expand Skills Development Scotland’s current apprentice programme from 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020.
The First Minister met with some of the female apprentice mechanics at GTG Training which is owned by Arnold Clark, to highlight the opportunities open to young women through the new funding to encourage them to consider roles traditionally filled by men.
Arnold Clark has seen 160 apprentices starting this year – of which 31 are female.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s vitally important that all of our young people in Scotland - no matter their background – have the opportunities available to get on in life.
“Apprenticeships not only offer our young people better job prospects – they also have a positive impact on businesses and industry, bringing value to employers and our economy.
“We have already seen youth unemployment reach its lowest level in seven years, and with further investment in our young workforce - like these 500 apprenticeships - we can hope to see that continue to improve.
“I also want to make sure that these opportunities are open to everyone. Traditionally, some sectors have been dominated by men, and women have felt that there are barriers to them entering.
“As we continue the expansion of our successful apprenticeship programmes we need to make sure that more young women are aware of the tremendous opportunities that an apprenticeship provides.
“I want our young women – as well as our young men - to be inspired and supported to achieve whatever they want in life."
Carol Henry, Group HR Director, Arnold Clark said: “As a large employer and supporter of developing the young workforce of Scotland, I am pleased to see the continued efforts being made around the extension of apprenticeships. For young people to succeed in today's workplace, it is essential that they are equipped with the right skills and knowledge. The public and private sector have an important role to play in ensuring valuable learning opportunities continue to be available to young people.”