Apprenticeship target achieved for eighth year in a row

More than 28,000 people started apprenticeships last year.

The number of apprentices benefitting from work-based learning has risen for the eighth consecutive year, according to the latest set of statistics.

Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Modern Apprenticeship report has outlined the breakdown of Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships for the year to 31 March 2019.

The report reveals that in 2018/19:

  • 28,191 people started their apprenticeships
  • 37,765 apprentices are currently in training
  • 21,767 individuals achieved their apprenticeship qualifications

The number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) apprenticeships has continued to grow. Four out of ten Modern Apprenticeship starts were in STEM roles and the majority of all Graduate Apprenticeships are also in STEM occupations.

Childcare-related positions increased by almost a fifth from 1,691 in 2017/18 to 2,102 in 2018/19, ahead of the Scottish Government doubling entitlement to early learning and childcare from August 2020 to 1,140 hours a year.

Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn announced the latest statistics during a visit to Standard Life Assurance, part of Phoenix Group, in Edinburgh.

He said:

“These are very encouraging figures. They demonstrate we are continuing to meet our targets and progress towards 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by the end of financial year to 2020. Scotland’s apprenticeship programmes continue to go from strength to strength with 29,000 places available next financial year, meaning even more people can access a wide variety of work-based learning.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for all employers to invest in their workforce, and provide the skills the economy needs both now and in the future.”

During the visit, the Minister met one of the 37 modern apprentices the organisation employs across a number of roles including financial services, management and IT & Telecommunications. Aneesah Sher, 21, from Edinburgh started her Modern Apprenticeship as an IT Desktop Technician four months ago.

She said:

“University didn’t appeal to me as I felt it would take a long time to gather the grades I needed to follow a career in IT. A Modern Apprenticeship helps me gain the skills and knowledge whilst in a job. I am gaining a wider knowledge of IT systems and providing the business with IT support. I love working at the company and the apprenticeship has enabled me to work at my own pace. There is always someone available to provide me with help and support.”

SDS Director of National Training Programmes Katie Hutton said: “More and more employers are recognising the benefits of Scottish Apprenticeships to support a sustainable and skilled workforce.

“The continued growth and development of apprenticeships is a response to industry, providing more opportunities for people of all ages to earn while they learn in occupations that are in demand.”


Modern Apprenticeship Statistics – Full Year Report 2018/19.

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