Apprenticeship targets have been increased by the Scottish government

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The Scottish government has announced it will increase its apprenticeship targets for this year, offering up to 27,000 places

The Scottish government has increased its apprenticeship targets for the year ahead, it has emerged. For industries which rely heavily on apprentices, such as construction, this is undoubtedly good news.

The news comes during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which has been organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and aims to encourage more employers to take on apprentices.

The new target will see up to 27,000 young people benefit from apprenticeship employment opportunities, and is an increase on last year’s figure of 26,000.

By 2020 the Scottish government intends to have 30,000 starts per year so is moving closer to this target.

Creating sustainable careers

Minister for employability and training Jamie Hepburn said: “Apprenticeships support young people into sustainable careers, reduce youth unemployment and help meet Scotland’s skill requirements.

“Along with the rest of my colleagues, I am looking forward to seeing first-hand the number and the breadth of programmes supported by the Scottish Government over the course of this week.

“Since this Government came into office in 2007, over 200,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts have been delivered. Scotland currently has the second lowest youth unemployment in Europe and our world class work based learning system is a factor in this.

“By significantly boosting the number of apprentice places on offer, we are reinforcing our commitment to provide accessible education opportunities which will support our learners and the wider economy.

“I would encourage more employers, both large and small, to take advantage of the opportunities presented by employing Modern Apprentices, and talk to Skills Development Scotland to find out more.”

Apprenticeships focus on business needs

Skills Development Scotland chief executive Damien Yeates said modern apprenticeships are tailored towards business needs. He added: “We want businesses and individuals to know that apprenticeships are changing.

“Apprenticeships are designed by employers for employers and provide the talent they want for the growth they need to develop their workforce.

“Business and industry continue to invest in apprenticeships, even in challenging economic times, which is a testament to the value they see in work based learning.”

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