Scotland is on course to provide more Modern Apprenticeships than ever before.
The annual target for Modern Apprenticeships – set by Scottish Government – has been raised from 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020.
Funding for an additional 500 places – the first step towards an extra 5000 Modern Apprenticeships – was announced earlier this year.
Since April there has been 12,473 new Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland, almost half of the target of 25,500 by April next year.
The figures have been published by national skills agency, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), which pays a contribution towards the cost of training Modern Apprentices on behalf of the Scottish Government.
SDS, Depute Director of National of Training Programmes, Katie Hutton said: “Employers continue to invest in Modern Apprentices, despite the economic challenges of recent years, and continue to see the benefits they bring to their business.
“SDS is committed to equality of opportunity and will keep working hard with industry, training providers and partners to ensure Modern Apprenticeships are open and available to all.”
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said: “Today’s figures show that we are on course to meeting this year’s target of 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities by the end of March.
“I am particularly pleased to note more higher level qualifications so far this year, alongside more younger starts, more women and more people with a reported disability.
“I would encourage more employers to follow the lead of those who have already taken on an apprentice this year and help even more young people make the most of their potential.”
Around eight out of ten Modern Apprenticeship jobs were taken up by 16 to 24-year-olds.
SDS has also surveyed employers and found nine out of ten would recommend Modern Apprenticeships to their industry.
Three-quarters of employers also reported improved productivity, 72 per cent reported improved staff morale, and 71 per cent reported improved product or service quality as a result of offering Modern Apprenticeships.
Pupils across Scotland will get to find out more about apprenticeships during a week of events later this month.
Employers, training providers and apprentices are visiting over 300 schools to talk to pupils about the benefits of an apprenticeship for Skills Development Scotland’s Learning Through Work Week.
Scotland’s Modern Apprentice of the Year will also be named at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh.
Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships at: website