South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed new figures which show the SNP has supported 7000 Modern Apprenticeships in Dumfries and Galloway in ten years of Government.
Commenting ahead of this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the MSP highlighted a 58.4% increase in Modern Apprenticeships in Dumfries and Galloway compared to 2007.
Ms McAlpine also welcomed an announcement by the First Minister that businesses in Dumfries and Galloway who want to take on an apprentice will be eligible to apply for a Rural Supplement.
Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“I am delighted that as we celebrate this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the latest statistics show that the SNP Government has supported over 200,000 apprentices in 10 years.
“In Dumfries and Galloway, we’ve seen huge growth in the number of apprenticeships since 2007.
“And the new Rural Supplement recognises the additional costs for delivering training in rural areas and will ensure that young people in Dumfries and Galloway are not disadvantaged when it comes to accessing apprenticeships.”
The MSP added:
“The SNP’s extra investment and focus over the last decade has transformed apprenticeships - building bridges with industry, filling skills gaps and enhancing productivity, while giving our young people the skills they need to be at the forefront of our economy and our jobs market.
“We delivered on our manifesto target of reaching 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year back in 2011-12 and we have now raised that target to 30,000 per year by 2020.
“This Modern Apprenticeship Week I would encourage all businesses in Dumfries and Galloway to think about how their business could benefit from taking on an apprentice and applying for the Rural Supplement.”
Some 37,000 young people are currently going through an apprenticeship in Scotland. The SNP manifesto has committed to delivering 30,000 apprenticeships each year by 2020, up from 15,000 when they took office, targeting the additional places on higher level courses, including graduate-level apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week will take place from 6 to 10 March.