The Scottish Government will move quickly to consider the actions outlined in the Modern Apprenticeship Summit report, Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced today.
The report is the outcome of Scotland's first ever Apprenticeship Summit which took place on April 28 and was attended by 150 delegates.
The main actions it identifies for delivering increased Apprentices are:
- Need further consideration of current age restriction
- Lack of accessible information about apprenticeships in Scotland
- Need to think about promotion and marketing
- Need to improve public sector participation
- Improve the engagement of SMEs
- Need to make it clear who does what
The main actions for helping redundant apprentices are:
- Need to look at financial incentives for employers
- Need better information about problem
- Employers want to retain ownership of apprentices in Scotland
- Employers want to fully explore potential flexibility in the current system
At the Fife Works project today, Ms Hyslop said:
"The Scottish Government is undertaking a range of work, through its six point economic recovery programme, to help individuals and organisations during the current downturn. We have already committed an additional £16 million to increase apprenticeship recruitment in Scotland.
"I am delighted that Scotland's first ever Apprenticeship Summit was such a success and that we have been able to draw out real areas for action. It was important that we heard, first hand, the suggestions that employers had to improve the Apprenticeship programme. I will move quickly on this important issue and I will be able to make announcements in the next few weeks.
"I can give the assurance that the Scottish Government will continue to work with employers to ensure that we can continue to develop the skills and jobs needed during the economic downturn and support employment opportunities in the recovery period."
Lynne Dunn, Coordinator Fife Works, added:
" We are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, has been able to join us today and take the opportunity to underline the Scottish Governement's commitment to modern apprenticeships. Her presence highlights the seriousness of the employment situation facing young people in Fife and also our determination to do what we can to help.
"In the past six months, approximately 70 Fife apprentices have been made redundant within the construction sector. More have been identified as 'at risk' of falling out of apprenticeships due to the risk of redundancy. This conference has given everyone involved the chance to participate in finding a solution to the effects of the downturn on our apprentices and to prepare for future growth in the construction sector."