Young Workforce North East Scotland (DYW) is targeting a 100 per cent increase in the amount of north-east businesses offering apprenticeships to young workers.
Education Working for All
For the year ending April 2015, DYW confirmed that over 2,300 apprentices started work across 780 businesses in Scotland, but the group now aims to double that number to around 1,500 businesses and hopes that 3,500 apprentices will be passing through its doors by 2018.
Inspired by famous Scottish businessman Sir Ian Wood, DYW will now work towards creating links between all major employers and 46 secondary schools in Aberdeen city and shire, which should help meet the group’s 2018 target.
Wood’s report, entitled Education Working for All, discovered that more could be done to not just equip youngsters for the workplace, but establish connections between employers and education providers in order to fill the nation’s skills gap.
The report is not dissimilar to Ofsted’s Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity report, which found gaping holes within Britain’s apprenticeship sector.
ROI for firms is ‘‘extremely high’’
Amanda Boyle, project director of DYW, is confident that her organisation will follow through on its promise to create more apprenticeships.
‘‘We have a large percentage of employers across multiple sectors facing skills gaps, especially amongst firms who are experiencing rapid expansion and believe that taking on an apprentice would be too time consuming, opting to hire a more experienced but more costly employee instead,’’ explained Boyle.
‘‘However, the return on investment for firms recruiting young people is extremely high. A study by the National Apprenticeship Service shows that 71 per cent of apprentices remain with the same employer after completing their training, with 57 per cent going on to hold management positions within the company.’’
‘‘Therefore it is crucial that we develop a more strategic approach to workforce development and that starts with bridging the gaps between schools and industry,’’ continued the project manager, who was speaking to Scotland’s The Press and Journal.