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More than 27,000 people started a Modern Apprenticeship in the last year thanks to business and industry, exceeding Scottish Government targets.

The latest annual statistics from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) show that there were 27,145 Modern Apprenticeship starts in 2017-18.

The figure confirms that Scotland is on course to meet its commitment of 30,000 apprenticeship starts per year by 2020.

This year’s target of 28,000 starts includes Graduate Apprenticeships, with there being around 900 Graduate opportunities, up from 278 starts last year.

The figures were announced by Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn during a visit to Edinburgh-based digital technology business and apprentice employer, Cortex Worldwide Ltd.

Mr Hepburn said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for all employers to invest in their workforce and provide the skills the economy needs now and in the future. I welcome these statistics, which show that once again we are exceeding our annual Modern Apprenticeship target.

 “We are continuing to enhance the apprenticeship opportunities available to provide the right balance of skills to meet the needs of employers and the economy, including prioritising higher skilled apprenticeships and STEM occupations.”

Fresh thinking

During his visit, Mr Hepburn met with the Cortex Worldwide apprentices, who work across Software Development, Cyber Security and IT Management for Business.

Having taken on its first Modern Apprentices is 2016, Cortex now employs five apprentices and is due to take on another three this year.

CEO of Cortex Worldwide, Peter Proud, said: “Taking on Modern Apprentices and offering employees the opportunity to develop their skills through Graduate Apprenticeships has been hugely beneficial for the business.

“It brings diversity and fresh thinking into Cortex and ensures the tech industry has the pipeline of talent with the training needed to meet skills for the future.

“Any business owner should look hard at apprenticeships and the solid business reasons to invest in young talent.  Find a Graduate Apprenticeship university to partner with and start investing in their future.”

Work-based learning

SDS Head of National Training Programmes, Fiona Stewart, added: “Employers and industry continue to invest in apprenticeships because they recognise the benefits of developing a skilled workforce.

“The world of work is constantly changing and businesses increasingly see apprenticeships as the way to meet their current and future skills needs.

“For individuals and employers, there has never been a better time to get involved in work-based learning.”

Find the latest annual Modern Apprenticeship figures on the

Statistics section of the Skills Development Scotland website.

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