New call for firms to invest in apprentices

Apprentices are vital to the area's economy, says Skills Development Scotland.
Apprentices are vital to the area's economy, says Skills Development Scotland.

A business-led group is urging local employers to take on more apprentices, arguing they are vital to the area’s economy.

The call comes from DYW Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, along with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), ahead of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (March 6 to 10).

SDS has organised a campaign highlighting the benefits for businesses that have decided to invest in the skills of their employees.

Businesses in Scotland employed a record number of apprentices last year as more than 25,500 young people got the chance to work, learn and earn.

Last year there were 2,146 new Modern Apprenticeship starts in North Lanarkshire, 1,644 in South Lanarkshire and 369 in East Dunbartonshire.

A survey of apprentice employers showed three quarters said that apprentices improved productivity, while nine out of ten would recommend apprenticeships to their industry.

DYW Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire Board Chair Bill McBride said: “Local employers hiring apprentices is vital to developing the young workforce and crucial for employers to make sure they have the right skills for the future.

“We encourage all employers – no matter their size – to consider the benefits apprenticeships could bring to their business.

“There’s no better time than Scottish Apprenticeship Week to find out more about work

based learning.”

SDS Head of Operations for the West of Scotland Sharon Kelly said: “Apprenticeships are changing, with more opportunities than ever for anyone – no matter their background – to work learn and earn.

“Employers can benefit from apprenticeships by making skills work for their business.

“If you are an employer looking to build a skilled, motivated workforce through apprenticeships, SDS can offer advice and support in person and via website”

Skills Development Scotland pays a contribution towards the cost of training apprentices

on behalf of the Scottish Government.

New Foundation Apprenticeships mean young people can also now start a Modern Apprenticeship at school, while Graduate Level Apprenticeships provide employees with work based learning opportunities to degree level.

Find out more at where employers can also post vacancies free.