This week marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a fantastic opportunity to draw attention to and recognise the important role Modern Apprentices play in the businesses and other organisations in which they work.
As an alliance campaigning on this issue, we were delighted to note recent figures highlighting that there are 745 more disabled people starting a Modern Apprenticeship compared with the same point last year as well as an increase in those who are care experienced.
The rewards of getting these young people, many of whom boast excellent skills, into work are well worth it, often demonstrating higher loyalty and retention rates. They bring passion, skills, dedication and drive to the workplace.
Recruiting a Modern Apprentice enables employers to fill the skills gaps that exist within their current workforce, as apprentices begin to learn sector specific skills from day one, developing specialist knowledge that will positively affect the bottom line.
However, as always we can do more and the support of businesses and other employers is key as it is they who clearly make the vital difference. They in turn need to be made more aware of the support available from the Scottish Government and other sources to employ a young person with an additional need.
As we mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we would urge Scotland’s employers to look beyond the label and take on a Modern Apprentice who may have an additional need, taking advantage of the excellent skills offered by many of these young people.