Apprenticeship skills

Employers supporting jobs drive.

The push by employers to recruit more apprentices is on track to deliver 27,000 new Modern Apprenticeship starts by the end of this year, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

To end of December 2017, more than 18,700 apprentices were recorded as having started training across the country.

Next year’s target of 28,000 apprentice starts will, for the first time, include Graduate Apprenticeships. People can study for university level qualifications while in paid full-time employment.

The First Minster also confirmed that Skills Development Scotland, as part of Year of Young People, is planning a national apprenticeship conference organised by young apprentices.

Speaking after launching Scottish Apprenticeship Week and meeting Modern Apprentices at a visit to Lothian Buses, the First Minister said:

“Skills investment is a key contributor to our economic growth. That is why we have increased Skills Development Scotland’s funding by 7% to £193 million next year.

“We recognise the vital role skills can play in helping individuals realise their potential allowing our businesses to maximise growth opportunities both now and in future.

“Skills Development Scotland exists to create the conditions for businesses to increase productivity and growth, thereby helping deliver the skills that our people and economy need.”

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates said: “Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the ideal time for employers, young people and parents to find out more about the range of apprenticeships on offer.

“And the Year of Young People is the ideal time to hold Scotland’s first apprenticeship conference by apprentices for young people. The event will be Scotland’s biggest celebration of apprentices, showcasing the talent and achievements of young people who choose to work, learn and earn.”

Jim Armstrong, Lothian Buses Engineering Director said: “Our approach to apprentice training focuses on the key objective of future proofing our business and industry. We understand the importance and real value of helping develop technical and life skills amongst our young people to ensure that they go on to have successful lives and careers.

“Working with Skills Development Scotland and GTG Training, we have also invested at our own cost by taking on mature apprentices. We’ve had significant success in this and are the only bus company in Scotland to be doing this.

“Over the last twelve years, Lothian has trained over eighty apprentices and retained over thirty-one young apprentices and twenty four mature apprentices. Of them, I’m delighted to say, five have progressed their careers and are now in supervisory roles within our engineering department. We are totally committed to the ongoing development and success of our Apprenticeship Programme and look forward to a bright future.”


Around 12,000 organisations, from family firms to multi-nationals, already employ Modern Apprentices.

More information about Scottish Apprenticeship Week


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