Scotland’s future workforce will be at the heart of rebuilding the economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Announcing £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices, including additional funding for the SNP Government’s Adopt an Apprentice programme, Ms Hyslop said the funding would help modern and graduate apprentices who are facing redundancy as a result of COVID-19 get back into work.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP said:
“The young people who will make up our future workforce are among those who have been hardest hit by this pandemic. As such, it is crucial that we support them and ensure they are at the heart of our economic recovery from COVID-19.
“This targeted funding will extend the reach of our support for apprentices, including our Adopt an Apprentice programme. Combined with our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Youth Guarantee, we will ensure no one is left behind.
“Apprenticeships are not only valuable for our young people, they are a key way for all employers to invest in their workforce, and provide the skills the economy needs both now and in the future.
“Our focus is on protecting jobs, creating jobs, ensuring quality jobs and supporting skilled jobs. By taking this action to protect and support skilled jobs now, we will rebuild a stronger, fairer and greener future for Scotland.”
Frank Mitchell, Chair of Skills Development Scotland, said:
“This welcome announcement underlines the importance of apprentices to the Scottish economy and the crucial role they will play in supporting individuals and businesses in the recovery from COVID-19."
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Contrary to the UK Government, which refuses to scrap the Apprenticeship Levy even temporarily, the SNP Government understands the importance of encouraging employers to facilitate apprenticeships around the country. Most employers are keen to train apprentices if they can.
“As these are particularly trying times, this £10 million will be welcomed. It comes of course hot on on the heels of the SNP Government’s doubling of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, which helps employers upskill and reskill their existing workforce through college courses, from £10 million to £20 million last week.
“Meanwhile a further £1.5 million will be invested into the Digital Boost programme - almost trebling the capacity of the initiative for the remainder of this financial year.”
In April 2020 the SNP Government extended the Adopt an Apprentice programme to include Graduate Apprenticeships to offer £2,000 to employers who employ a redundant Graduate Apprentice.
Graduate Apprentices who have been made redundant from 1 February 2020 will be eligible for the programme.
For more information about Scottish Apprenticeships, which are run by Skills Development Scotland, visit apprenticeships.scot .