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Scotland Hits New Apprenticeship Record

28th March 2012

The First Minister today announced that the Scottish Government has successfully delivered its commitment to support 25,000 new apprenticeship starts in 2011/12. This is a record number of new Modern Apprenticeships starts in a single year and confirms delivery of the first year of the commitment to provide 25,000 apprenticeship opportunities in each year of the current Parliament.

Speaking at a Skills Development Scotland hosted youth employment summit in Inverness, the First Minister congratulated Scotland's national skills agency on reaching this milestone and paid tribute to the businesses who have committed to providing apprenticeship opportunities.

The First Minister said:"I am extremely pleased to announce today that we have delivered on our commitment to offer 25,000 new apprenticeship opportunities in 2011/12. The modern apprenticeship programme provides a superb opportunity to support young people into work with training which meets the needs of our businesses. To be able to support these opportunities on such a scale is something of which this government is incredibly proud.

"We set a target to deliver 25,000 Modern Apprentices in 2011/12 - the largest number ever and 60 per cent more than the number available in 2006/07. Today we have confirmation that we have reached this unprecedented target and I am confident we will continue to deliver at least 25,000 new starts in each of the four remaining years of this Parliament.

"This milestone is a superb example of an effective partnership between employers, training providers and the public sector. On Friday I visited Nigg to see one of these partnerships come to fruition with the announcement that Global Energy Group (GEG) have established a skills academy with support from a range of public agencies. This is great news for communities and employers in the Highlands, with GEG set to take on 290 apprentices in the first year of the academy.

"The Scottish Government and its partners are determined that Scotland will capitalise on our rich natural resources that will provide our young people with exciting and prosperous future opportunities. The energy sector gives us the opportunity to lift the country out of the economic downturn and this is exactly what is being presented at Nigg. It was clear from the apprentices I met that they have huge enthusiasm as they embark on a career with endless prospects."

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance also welcomed this unprecedented achievement:

"Businesses of all types across Scotland are showing ambition and commitment to their future success through their investment in their apprentices. Employers have offered thousands of young people a real job with meaningful training. This is what makes the programme so attractive to our young people. Each and every one of the 25,000 apprenticeships is in a job and the commitment from employers to employ the apprentices is the fundamental key to its success.

"Today is an opportunity to celebrate a milestone in the development of our future workforce. As we move forward the government is unwavering in its commitment to providing a training or education opportunity for every single 16-19 year old in Scotland not already in work, education or training. These 25,000 Modern Apprentices are one part of our 1.5 billion pounds per year investment in post-16 education and training that underlines the Scottish Government's commitment to do everything it can to support youth employment in Scotland."

John McClelland, Chair of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) added: "SDS has targeted efforts at demonstrating the benefit to businesses of Modern Apprenticeships, and employers across Scotland have shown a terrific response. Businesses are recognising that Modern Apprentices can bring them new ideas and higher productivity. We look forward to supporting thousands more employers to join the programme in 12/13, building stronger companies and supporting local employment.'

Modern Apprenticeships comparative data


2005/06 - 20,196
2006/07 - 15,869
2007/08 - 15,010
2008/09 - 10,579
2009/10 - 20,216
2010/11 - 21,561
2011/12 (as at 21 March) - 25,000


2005/06 - 56M
2006/07 - 60M
2007/08 - 56M
2008/09 - 54M
2009/10 - 60M
2010/11 - 69M


2005/06 - 10,962 (59 per cent)
2006/07 - 12,566 (65 per cent)
2007/08 - 11,401 (69 per cent)
2008/09 - 9,783 (67 per cent)
2009/10 - 9,232 (70 per cent)
2010/11 - 16,968 (71 per cent)