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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07815: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to encourage more (a) school leavers and (b) college students into apprenticeships, in light of the recent survey by Prudential that suggests that half of school leavers in Scotland say they know little about apprenticeships on offer.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 21 March 2017

The Scottish Government's Youth Employment Strategy, Developing the Young Workforce, sought from the outset to expand the Modern Apprenticeship offer to create more opportunities and to better align the Modern Apprenticeship programme with key sectors and areas of economic growth, as well as to increase participation from under-represented groups. The introduction and expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships provides young people in their senior phase at school the opportunity to start their apprenticeship journey and complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while they are still at school, further promoting the career opportunities a Modern Apprenticeship provides.

The Scottish Government supported Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017. This was the most comprehensive to date with all Scottish Government Ministers undertaking an event related to it. Also involved in the activities were schools, employers, apprentices, colleges, councils and training providers.

In addition the Scottish Government's skills agency Skills Development Scotland have recently promoted events and campaigns including:

The Scottish Apprenticeship Shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh in October. These events were aimed at pupils from S2 to S4 and their families. The shows provided the chance to meet apprentices and their employers to get hands-on experience of the opportunities available.

Additional regional events were held throughout November where SDS worked with a range of partners to promote apprenticeships to young people in Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Forth Valley, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute and the Borders.

Furthermore, Skills Development Scotland promote Modern Apprenticeships in a number of ways including its new website and My World of Work. It is also widening the reach of the programme through its equality action plan and as part of its regular engagement with businesses across Scotland.

These are important means to help with the Scottish Government's ambitious plans to grow and enhance the Modern Apprenticeship programme to 30,000 new starts a year by 2020.