Work-based learning celebrated as Scottish Apprenticeship Week gets underway

SCOTLAND’S business minister Jamie Hepburn marked the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week by meeting Balfour Beatty apprentices at Glasgow’s Queen Street Station, which is currently undergoing a major revamp.

Up to 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities for school pupils will be available in Scotland this year, with the nation also on track to meet the annual target of 30,000 Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship starts.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Mr Hepburn said, “Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the benefits of work-based learning. Apprenticeships are crucial to developing our workforce and economy – they provide excellent opportunities to assist people of all ages and from all backgrounds into rewarding careers and can benefit businesses of every size and from every sector.

“We are delivering more apprenticeships in Scotland than ever before and the routes into employment available to young people are the most diverse they have ever been, but I still want to urge more businesses and individuals to consider the benefits an apprenticeship opportunity can bring.”

Hector MacAulay, regional MD of Balfour Beatty’s construction business in Scotland added, “At Balfour Beatty, we believe it is vitally important for us to create opportunities for young people through apprenticeships. We are deeply committed to providing skills and life-long learning through apprenticeships which are key to leaving a sustainable, lasting legacy throughout all of our projects in Scotland.”

Frank Mitchell, chair of Skills Development Scotland commented, “Demand from employers continues to drive the development and growth of Scottish apprenticeships.  Scottish apprenticeships create opportunities for everyone no matter their background and for every business no matter its size or sector. Looking towards a future increasingly disrupted by technological and societal changes, work-based learning has never been more relevant for supporting people into highly productive and sustainable jobs. ”