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The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) will play a key role in shaping a new fund designed to support workforce skills development.

Following the publication of their Draft Budget (2017/18) last week, the Scottish Government announced plans to establish a new Workforce Development Fund as part of their response to the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy.

Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, launched the fund at New College Lanarkshire and said that it will be developed with the input of employers through the industry-led Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB).

The £10m fund – which will be introduced in autumn 2017 – aims to bring the further education sector together with industry to better support in-work training; provide employers with workforce development training to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce, and address skills gaps.

Other measures announced in their response to the UK Apprenticeship Levy include commitments to expand the Modern Apprenticeship programme as growth continues towards 30,000 new starts each year by 2020; and continued implementation of the Youth Employment Strategy: ‘Developing the Young Workforce’.

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, John F McClelland CBE, said:

“Apprenticeships are vital to developing the skills needed now and in the future to support the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board is led by employers and representatives from industry bodies and sectors to align the development of apprenticeships with business needs, the economy, fair work and job opportunities.

“The Board will bring employer insight and expertise to help develop the Workforce Development Fund.”

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