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More than a dozen projects are underway to help more women, disabled people, care leavers and people from minority ethnic communities into Modern Apprenticeships.

Earlier this year we launched the Equality Challenge Fund for projects aimed at widening access to Modern Apprenticeships.

Now organisations including charities, colleges and training providers have received funding to help boost Modern Apprenticeship numbers among under-represented groups. SDS is supporting 13 projects across the country.

Working with partners

SDS Head of National Training Programmes Development Karen Murray said: "we're committed to improving equality and diversity in Modern Apprenticeships.

"This is a complex issue - many people face a number of barriers to employment and to Modern Apprenticeships. No single organisation can address the cultural and social barriers.

"However, by working in partnership we are aiming to ensure everyone has the same access to opportunities and apprenticeships no matter their background.

"These projects are very much about getting more people onto Modern Apprenticeships who might not otherwise get that opportunity.

"But they are not just about numbers and statistics; they aim to bring long-term, sustainable improvements to widen access to Modern Apprenticeships."

Supporting young people in Scotland

Our work in equality and diversity supports Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy and its aims for Modern Apprenticeships :

  • individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds who participate reflect the working age population
  • the number of disabled people in apprenticeships reflects those in work
  • more people who have experienced care become apprentices
  • gender balance is tackled in Modern Apprenticeship framework groupings.

Training provider launch event

Successful Equality Challenge Fund bidders came together to share their ideas and to identify opportunities to work together.

More opportunities to share best practice are planned including an event which will be open to all contracted training providers.

We're also working in partnership with organisations including BEMIS, representing ethnic minority communities, and the Institute of Physics, which is working to reduce gender imbalance in the subject choices that young people make in school.

What's next?

Training providers can find out more about recruiting and supporting diversity in the workplace.

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