Scotland smashes annual target with over 25,000 new apprenticeships

According to new figures released by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), 25,247 Modern Apprentices (MAs) started training in 2014/15, exceeding its annual target once again.

Over the last four years over 101,000 people in Scotland have started an MA. There has also been an increase in the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds, and those starting an MA at a higher level.

Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment Annabelle Ewing said: “Fresh from a hugely successful Scottish Apprenticeship Week, today’s figures give us another chance to highlight the importance of MAs to the Scottish economy. 101,000 new starts in this parliamentary term alone is a remarkable achievement and the perfect platform to push for 30,000 new opportunities each year from 2020.

“As we move towards this target, it is vital that we continue to tackle inequality and we are taking action to ensure more women are aware of the tremendous opportunities that an MA offers to learn while you earn. It’s particularly good to see a rise in the number of girls doing MAs at SVQ level 3 or above. Young people must see the full range of options available to them, not just those that are traditionally seen as jobs for men or for women.

“Our national programme for Developing the Young Workforce outlines a number of further actions to tackle inequality and we have given Skills Development Scotland £500,000 to move forward with an equalities action plan that will also benefit care leavers, the disabled and minority groups.

“Apprenticeships not only offer our young people better job prospects – they also have a positive impact on businesses and industry, bringing value to employers and our economy. Youth unemployment has reached its lowest level in seven years and we compare very well to other EU countries, but I would urge more businesses to consider how an MA could help them grow and prosper.”