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Employers from across Scotland heard how new types of apprenticeships can boost their business.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) works with employers and industry to support the development of work-based learning in Scotland.

Scottish Government has targets for 30,000 new employed apprentice starts each year, including Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.

Foundation Apprenticeships for school pupils to choose alongside other subjects such as Highers are also set to rise to 5000 places by the end of 2019.

Employers from across Scotland gathered at the Future Skills and Apprenticeships event.

The event was held at Scottish Power’s Glasgow HQ, where attendees heard from other businesses as well as Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices.

They found out about how apprenticeships can be placed at the centre of workforce development.

Frank Mitchell, SP Energy Networks Chief Executive, shared some of the challenges work-based learning is helping to address such as an aging workforce; diversity and demand for skilled people.

Apprenticeships were also held up as a way of improving staff retention and loyalty.

Scottish Water’s Head of Learning and Organisational Development, Paul Campbell, started his career as an apprentice.

He said that apprenticeships are ‘at the core’ of Scottish Water’s workforce development planning.

The firm employs Modern and Graduate Apprentices, also supports school pupils taking Foundation Apprenticeships as one of their subject choices.

Paul said other employers should ‘get in and do it’ when considering getting involved in work-based learning.

He urged companies to make the most of the support from SDS.

SDS senior director Neville Prentice said that the building blocks are there in Scotland to support businesses and to continue to develop a work-based learning system that works for them.

CGI’s Maggie Morrison, who is also a member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, chaired the event.

Maggie said that CGI support work-based learning through Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.

The event was organised by Skills Development Scotland and the Centre for Work-Based Learning.

The development of apprenticeships learning in Scotland has drawn on evidence from European countries where high levels of work-based learning are aligned to lower levels of youth unemployment and more productive economies.

Attendees also heard from Dr. Wolf Bonsiep, Vice President, vocational training and qualification at Bosch Stuttgart-Feuerbach and mechatronics apprentice Maike Lange.

They shared insight into the German ‘dual system’ linking work-based and academic learning.

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