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Apprentices and their employers are set to be recognised in a year when they have supported the country’s economy through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards – which are co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland – are open for nominations until 25 November.

The awards will highlight the resilience and hard work of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices during 2020. They will also shine a spotlight on employers, learning providers and individuals across the country who have championed apprenticeships in exceptional times.

 

It’s never been more important to recognise the success of our dedicated apprentices, the commitment of their employers and innovation shown by learning providers.

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

Delivering critical skills for recovery

Scottish Government is committed to apprenticeships and their crucial role in supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “It’s never been more important to recognise the success of our dedicated apprentices, the commitment of their employers and innovation shown by learning providers.

“Across Scotland, apprenticeships are delivering the critical skills and talent that will support our continued economic recovery and growth as we work to rebuild from coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our £60 million Young Person’s Guarantee will ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 in Scotland is guaranteed an opportunity at university or college, an apprenticeship programme, employment including work experience, or participating in a formal volunteering programme.

“I look forward to recognising award winners during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.”

Learning providers recognised

This year’s awards include large and small apprentice employers of the year – as well as recognising businesses’ work to support diversity and inclusion.

A new category will recognise the innovation of the learning providers who have been able to work with employers and apprentices to support their efforts in difficult times.

And one talented individual will also be named Scottish Apprentice of the Year.

Demonstrating innovation and commitment

Skills Development Scotland Chair Frank Mitchell said: “Throughout the pandemic there have been extraordinary efforts from employers to support their apprentices through incredibly difficult circumstances.

“Apprentices across Scotland have shown huge commitment, fortitude and dedication to developing their skills.

“It’s also important this year to recognise the innovation demonstrated by learning providers to make sure apprentices continued to learn and progress.

“Supporting youth employment and skills through apprenticeships is at the heart of economic recovery.

“The awards are a platform to make sure inspirational apprenticeships, employers and learning providers gain the national recognition and thanks they deserve.”

Prioritising recruitment and retention

Individuals of all ages benefit from work-based learning through apprenticeships, which enable employers to identify new talent or upskill existing staff to meet business needs.

Scottish Government is prioritising recruitment and retention of apprentices, a pipeline of apprenticeship opportunities and development of a National Transition Training Fund.

Skills Development Scotland has launched a range of support measures including an enhanced Adopt and Apprentice offer for employers, a new Apprentice Transition Plan service for unemployed apprentices and Pathway Apprenticeships to enable school leavers to gain qualifications that can help them progress on to a Modern Apprenticeship.

Nominations

Nominations for the Awards are open until noon on 25 November and winners will be announced during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 1 to 5 March 2021.

To find out more about the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards and to submit a nomination visit apprenticeships.scot/awards.

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