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Apprentices from across Scotland promoted the benefits of work-based learning at the Scottish Parliament.

The event took place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week. The theme for the campaign is Talent Without Limits. 

 

Apprentices, employers and learning providers shared their experiences of the benefits of work-based learning.

The reception was sponsored by Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP who spoke to an audience of over 250 guests about the importance of apprenticeships to individuals and employers.

"It’s wonderful to be able to bring all those who are passionate about providing young people with apprenticeship opportunities to the parliament."

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

Importance of promoting apprenticeships

Apprentices, employers and learning providers shared their experiences of the benefits of work-based learning.

The reception was sponsored by Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP who spoke to an audience of over 250 guests about the importance of apprenticeships to individuals and employers.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn outlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to work-based learning and the importance of promoting apprenticeships.

Mr Hepburn said: “It’s wonderful to be able to bring all those who are passionate about providing young people with apprenticeship opportunities to the parliament. It’s an opportunity for apprentices, employers and training providers to talk about the benefits of apprenticeships.”

“We need to push ahead, and continue expanding pathways into Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.”

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive, Skills Development Scotland

Demand continues

SDS chair Frank Mitchell said that demand for apprenticeships from employers continues to grow – particularly for Graduate Apprenticeships – with a number of businesses now preferring to take on Graduate Apprentices over graduates. 

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates added that Scotland has to build on the momentum and growth of apprenticeships. 

He said: “We need to push ahead, and continue expanding pathways into Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.” 

Life changing

Foundation Apprentice Ahmed Abdou of Boroughmuir High School attended the event with his parents and spoke about his experience on work placement with tech giant Microsoft.

He said: “When I discovered that Edinburgh College was offering a Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship at my school, I knew it was perfect for me.

“I was unable to choose a Business Higher so, now I could get the chance to earn the same qualification and get the work experience too.

“I haven’t looked back since. The time I spend at Microsoft has changed my whole opinion of the office workplace.

“I thought it would be tough. Instead, I look forward to going to Microsoft and the sense of achievement I get there and at college is giving me more drive to succeed at school.

“If there are employers out there who are not involved in apprenticeships, I would say they really have to consider it.”

Widespread representation

Exhibitors at the parliament included Morgan Stanley; Lifescan; McTaggart Construction; SQA; Angus Training Group, Edinburgh College and Dumfries and Galloway College.

Members of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and Scotland’s Apprentice Network were among those at the parliamentary event.

Members of Scotland’s Apprentice Network also attended the Cross Party Group on Skills and held a drop-in session for MSPs in the parliament.

Apprentices sharing experiences

Bethany Welsh, who completed a Modern Apprenticeship then a Graduate Apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty said: “I really enjoyed speaking at the Scottish Parliament today and explaining why apprenticeships are just as important as other pathways.

“My friend, who is the same age, has just started working with me at Balfour Beatty, also doing civil engineering. We both now have degrees in the same discipline, but the difference is that I also have five years’ industry experience on top of my degree, because I chose a Graduate Apprenticeship over just going to university.”

Bethany was joined by vehicle technician Modern Apprentice at Arnold Clark Rebecca Steel, apprentice of the year Jordan Fairlamb of Dawnfresh and Melissa Jeffrey, who completed a Modern Apprenticeship with the Scottish Government.

 

More information

To find out more about Scottish Apprenticeships visit apprenticeships.scot

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