In honour of the United Nation’s World Youth Skills Day, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) is showcasing its Modern Apprenticeship figures, as it campaigns to raise the national minimum wage for apprentices throughout the UK.
Figures from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) show that the number of Modern Apprenticeships has grown significantly. In 2007/08 Scotland contained only 15,803 modern apprentices. In 2014/15 apprenticeship figures stood at 25,247, which is an increase of 59.7 per cent.
‘‘These very welcome figures highlight a key success of the SNP in government – with the number of Modern Apprenticeships rising by almost 60 per cent since 2007/08 and more young people being given an opportunity to get into work, learn a skill and secure a better future,’’ commented Stewart Maxwell, Member of Scottish Parliament for SNP.
‘‘The Scottish Government has exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year since 2011/12. This target is set to increase to 30,000 by 2020.’’
While the SNP has been in government, Scotland has exceeded its Modern Apprenticeship quota of 25,000 new apprentices a year every year since 2011. The SNP has now increased its annual target to 30,000 by 2020.
While praising the SNP’s efforts, Maxwell also touched upon the incredibly low wages that apprentices receive, an amount which currently stands at £2.73 nationwide.
‘‘It is simply wrong that due to the discriminatory regulations of the UK Government, many apprentices could find themselves earning less than £3 per hour,’’ continued Maxwell.
If the SNP won the General Election in May, the party claim that they would have put plans in motion to raise the minimum wage to £6.86 by 2020.
‘‘It’s absolutely vital that we can continue to attract more young people into the Modern Apprentice programme – and that they aren’t put off by the disincentive of low pay. That’s why it is absolutely vital that powers to tackle low pay are devolved to Scotland.’’