APPRENTICESHIPS – DEC UPDATE

Sarah Medcraf Chamber News

The Apprenticeship Workstream has been meeting regularly to look at issues that affect apprenticeships, at all levels.  The workstream contains members from Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Education Scotland as well as DYW representatives from SG, Glasgow, Western Isles, Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

This has allowed DYW to have dialogue with our partners as to what employers we engage with have been seeking, about how we can support the continued development of apprenticeships and how better to understand the emerging pandemic landscape that we are all operating in.

The challenge facing young people gaining apprenticeship opportunities can be summed up in one statistic.  Across Scotland during Q2 of this year Modern Apprenticeship opportunities fell from 13,700 during the same period last year, to a mere 3,600.  A drop of 74%!

Below gives a summary of recent announcements regarding developments in apprenticeships that are designed to maximise apprenticeship uptake throughout Scotland.  £10m had already been allocated to the adopt and Apprentice scheme with further funding of £15m being made available from the Scottish Government for the other programmes listed below.

Their is hyper-links to take you to the relevant SDS pages.  Details can also be found on apprenticeships.scot which has been updated with details on these new offers, should you need further information:

Adopt an Apprentice

The Adopt-an-apprentice scheme offers financial incentives of £5000 for other another employer to take the apprentice on and allow them to complete their qualification.  This covers both Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.  Employers must support an apprentice with employment for a minimum of 12 months or until they successfully complete their designated apprenticeship (whichever period is shorter).

Apprenticeship Transition

SDS has also recently launched the apprentice-transition-plan.  Delivered in partnership with learning providers across the country, modern apprentices who have been made redundant will receive one to one help to achieve their qualification where possible, gain recognition for their learning and assistance to take the next step in their careers.

Apprenticeship Employer Grant

The Apprenticeship Employer Grant is aimed at encouraging employers to take on Modern and Graduate apprenticeships or to upskill existing staff through the apprenticeship route.  The grant makes available £5,000 for employers taking on a 16 – 24 year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years old who are disabled, care leavers and Minority Ethnic.  Employers who take on an apprentice aged 25 or older will receive a financial incentive of £3,500.  Funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1 December 2020 and will be available for apprenticeship starts until 25 March 2021.  The grant is open to both private and public sector employers.  Eligibility criteria for this grant is still being worked on and will be published by SDS in early January 2021.

Pathway to Apprenticeships

The Pathway Apprenticeships initiative will provide 26 – 32 weeks of work-based learning primarily for school-leavers up to the age of 18 that is linked to an apprenticeship and will support progression into an apprenticeship.  Pathway Apprenticeships will be available from January 2021, initially in construction, business skills, software and hardware IT, engineering and early years.  A Health & Social Care pathway is also currently being developed.