Modern Apprenticeship target announced

More remote and rural businesses will benefit.

At least 28,000 new apprentices will be trained next year, with increased support for rural areas and key sectors.

The target for 2018/19 was announced by Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn in today’s debate in the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce agenda.

Mr Hepburn also confirmed changes to the rural supplement and increased funding for apprenticeships in key sectors. These enhancements will mitigate against the cost of service delivery in rural locations and provide additional support for training costs in key areas, such as social services.

Mr Hepburn said:

“Over the last year we have seen tremendous progress against our Developing the Young Workforce targets, hitting our headline objective of reducing youth unemployment by 40%, four years ahead of schedule.

“Despite this success, it is vital we continue to develop Scotland’s young workforce to meet the emerging needs and opportunities of our employers and economy.

“That is why we are expanding the number of Modern Apprenticeship places available to 28,000 next year, meaning even more people can access a wide variety of vocational skills and training.

“By increasing access to the rural supplement, we are also ensuring rural areas don’t lose out, whilst additional funding for key sectors such as social services will mean support is directed to where it is most needed.

“In 2008, we were determined to ensure this generation of young people had a bright future to look forward to. The actions we have taken, the investment we are making, and the focus we continue to apply mean that more young people are in work and have the skills and training they need to succeed in life.”


The Scottish Government’s third annual report on progress of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is available online.

Rural supplement

The revised model for delivering the rural supplement will be introduced in April 2018 and be available to training providers working with employers in areas classed as either ‘Remote Rural’ or ‘Remote Small Towns’ according to the Scottish Government urban/rural classification.  

Eligibility will be based on the postcode of the Modern Apprentice’s employer. This means up to 17 local authority areas will be in scope for the revised ‘postcode-based’ rural uplift in 18/19 (five on a ‘blanket’ basis: Argyll and Bute; the Isle of Arran (North Ayrshire), and the Orkney, Shetland, and Western Isles).  

The postcode based model provides a more needs-led approach in addressing issues arising from the effects of rurality on the delivery of Modern Apprenticeships, which offers a more robust and sophisticated evidence based approach to applying the rural supplement than the pilot approach taken in 2017/18.

Key sectors:

Revised contribution rates have been calculated reflecting further evidence received from training providers and employers. The revised rates are included in the following table:

Modern Apprenticeship framework

Social Services Children & Young People

Dental Nursing


Proposed new rates from April 2018 (uplift from 17/18 rates in brackets)

16-19 age group

£5,500 (+£1,000)

£5,200 (+£1,500)

£4,700 (+£1,700)

20-24 age group

£2,700 (+£1,000)

£2,700 (+£1,500)

£2,200 (+1,000)

25+ age group

£1,700 (+£1,000)

£1,600 (+£1,000)

£1,200 (+£600)


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