Scotland business

Modern apprenticeships 'on target' in Scotland

Apprentice Image copyright PA
Image caption Scotland currently has a target of delivering 25,000 modern apprenticeships a year

A target to have 25,000 modern apprenticeships (MAs) in place in Scotland this year is on course to be achieved, according to new figures.

Skills Development Scotland found there were 19,517 MAs in place by the end of the third quarter of 2014-15 - about 78% of the annual goal.

The latest total represents a 2% increase on the same period last year.

The statistics showed 53% of the new starts were aged 16 to 19 - slightly up on a year ago.

Modern apprenticeships offer work-based learning in a range of industries including tourism, engineering and life sciences.

'More opportunities'

Skills and Training Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The Scottish government remains committed to our Modern Apprenticeship programme and today's figures are evidence that we are creating more opportunities each year, strongly suggesting that our annual target of 25,000 will again be exceeded.

"In the last four years we have created almost 100,000 new opportunities and by 2020 will create 30,000 new MAs each year.

"However, for that to happen, and for us to continue to support more young women and men into jobs, we need to keep encouraging more employers to consider taking a young person on in an MA position.

"Apprenticeships are a key part of action to address youth unemployment and we are currently implementing the recommendations from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.

"This will see closer working between business, colleges and local authorities to help grow the economy and ensure our young people are ready for work when the time comes."

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