New Modern Apprentice target

Increased work-based learning opportunities across Scotland.  

More than 29,000 people will benefit from Modern Apprenticeship opportunities next year in a continued effort to support youth employment, Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn announced.  

The 29,000 target includes Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships and puts Scotland on course to reach a longstanding commitment to 30,000 new apprenticeship starts each year by 2020.

This increased goal will help give more people the opportunity to work, learn and earn while providing employers with the skills they need for their workforce. The 2018/19 target of 28,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts is on course to be met.

Announcing the new figure during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Mr Hepburn said:

“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 29,000 next 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 now and in the future.

“The Scottish Government are funding more apprentices than ever before and we remain firmly on track to achieve our ambitious target of 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020.”

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland, said:

“We will continue to work with industry and business to ensure a work-based learning and apprenticeship system that meets their needs while supporting the Scottish economy.”


Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships are jobs which allow people to work and learn. Around 1300 Graduate Apprenticeships will be available this year across 13 different subjects. This year up to 5000 Foundation Apprenticeship places for secondary pupils to choose alongside their other school subjects are also available. 27,145 people stared Modern Apprenticeships in 2017/2018, surpassing the 27,000 target. 

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging more employers to take on apprentices. This year’s theme is ‘Skills for the Future’, recognising the importance of investing in the workforce.

Find out more about apprenticeships at 


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