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Endeavouring to achieve equality and diversity in participation and positive outcomes, from whatever service offered, is, to me, what public service should be all about.

Achieving Equality

We set out five years ago to achieve a real difference in Modern Apprenticeships and then expanded this across the emerging apprenticeship family.

What I know now is that there is a lot to learn, stakeholders may be suspicious of your motives, some roads that you set out hopefully on may lead to a bit of a dead end, and the lessons may not always be clear, but it is vitally important to keep on trying. The prize is worth it.

We know from customer feedback that participating in work-based learning is life-changing, so we must maximise the opportunities for those who are relatively disadvantaged.

 Whilst SDS does not have all the means of achieving change, it is important that we stretch every lever that we have – and work with others to influence where they have the responsibility – to make a real difference.

Progress

Our team has made progress over the last few years and I would like to thank the many stakeholders and partners who have helped us along the way. Your support, insight, connections, and challenge have been invaluable.

Whilst this is a report at the end of the five-year plan, it feels like just the beginning of the story. There is so much more to do. Some of the barriers are long-standing, cultural norms that will take collective will –- and effort - across stakeholders and customers to change.

It is an important challenge that we need to continue to face, and that none of us should shy away from.

More information

To read the Apprenticeship Equality Action Plan Progress Report go to the Publications area of the Skills Development Scotland website

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