Work, learn and earn

Scottish Apprenticeship Week began with the aim of highlighting the benefits apprenticeships bring to business, individuals and the Scottish economy.

Six years later, it has become the catalyst for many employers to consider recruiting Modern Apprentices and for many young people to contemplate work-based learning as they start their careers.

Skills Development Scotland

Organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), this week showcased the commitment of businesses that have decided to invest in their skills of their workforce and the success of
apprentices who have chosen to get a job, get paid and get qualified.

SDS’s head of operations north-east Gordon MacDougall said: “We know from our apprentice employer survey that 75% of firms said apprentices improved their productivity and 72% said morale was improved by employing apprentices.

“Modern Apprenticeships help companies grow their own talent, combining apprentices’ energy and enthusiasm with the knowledge and expertise of experienced colleagues to invest in the future.”

Gordon highlighted the strong partnership working which led to a number of Scottish Apprenticeship Week events across the north-east.

“These events included Aberdeen Asset Management’s open evening at the North East College Scotland and a CITB event for pupils from Wick and Thurso high schools in North Highland College. Pupils were able to get hands-on experience of construction trades and speak to apprentices,” he said.

At the SCDI’s Skills Summit in Dundee on Monday Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham set a target of 26,000 Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland next year.

The Scottish Government is targeting an increase from 25,000 starts each year to 30,000 by 2020. Part of that commitment is an ambition to increase access to Modern Apprenticeships.

Last December SDS launched its five-year Equalities Action Plan. It sets out action SDS and partner organisations will take to address the low numbers of young people from ethnic minority groups, young disabled people and care leavers entering Modern Apprenticeships.

The plan will also tackle apprenticeship areas where there are gender imbalances, such as females in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related apprenticeships.

“Opening up a career path to young people through a Modern Apprenticeship can be life-changing,” added Gordon.

“Businesses can also benefit from young women and men who want to work, learn and earn through apprenticeships. We hope employers will do their part in providing opportunities, and they will receive support from SDS to do this. In return, they will get motivated young people with new ideas to help their business grow and prosper.”

Find out more at


Back to listing