Date lodged: 28 February 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with increasing the participation of people (a) from minority ethnic backgrounds and (b) who self-identify as disabled in the modern apprenticeship programme.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 12 March 2018
The Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland are committed to equality of opportunity within Modern Apprenticeships. The Equalities Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships: Year 1 update published in July 2017 outlines Skills Development Scotland’s work with partners and employers on a national and regional basis. The focus is to deliver interventions that will result in increased numbers of minority ethnic, disabled and care experienced young people in apprenticeships as well as addressing the gender imbalance in apprenticeship frameworks where it exists.
Skills Development Scotland published the 2016-17 Modern Apprenticeship Quarter 4 statistics in June 2017. This showed that 1.7% of Modern Apprenticeship starts self – identified as being from a minority ethnic group, which was slightly higher than reported in 2015-16.
The most recent 2017-18 Modern Apprentice quarterly statistics (Q3) published on 13 February 2018 show as at 29 December 2017, a total of 354 Modern Apprenticeship starts self-identified as being from a Mixed or Multiple; Asian; African; Caribbean or Black; or Other ethnic group. This represents 2% of all Modern Apprenticeship starts where ethnicity is known.
Going forwards a particular area of focus is on addressing employability skills issues for some groups. The BEMIS “MAs for All” project is an example of one of our national projects to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities and career pathways in ethnic minority communities. Now in its first year, it aims to leave a legacy of connections between community groups and contracted providers.
Regarding disability the 2016-17 Modern Apprenticeship Quarter 4 statistics reported that 8.6% of all Modern Apprenticeship starts self - identified having an impairment, health condition or learning difficulty. This was 4.7 % higher than those who self - identified as disabled in 2015-16.
The most recent 2017-18 Modern Apprentice quarterly statistics (Q3) published on 13 February 2018 show as at 29 December 2017, there were 1,946 Modern Apprenticeship starts who self-identified as having an impairment, health condition or learning difficulty which equated to 10.9% of all known Modern Apprenticeship starts.
Significant improvements have been made in relation to disability representation. This relates to both improvements in reporting, due to the support that Skills Development Scotland has given to providers, as well as the implementation of the actions outlined in the Modern Apprenticeship Equalities Action Plan.
Additionally in April 2017 we introduced enhanced contribution rates providing young disabled people and those with experience of care with the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding for their chosen Frameworks up to the age of 29.