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Pathway Apprenticeships for school leavers facing fewer opportunities

Young people will have the chance to train and get qualifications in sectors with long-term prospects thanks to a new initiative launched in response to the pandemic.

Pathway Apprenticeships are for school-leavers up to 18-years-old who might be facing more limited options due to the economic impact from COVID-19. Around 1,200 opportunities will be available to young people in the first phase of the initiative.

Pathway Apprenticeships are being made available in areas including construction, business skills, software and hardware IT, engineering and early years.

Pathway Apprenticeships have been developed by Skills Development Scotland and partners as an immediate, short-term response to the economic impact of the pandemic. They support the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee which ensures access to education, training or work, including an apprenticeship for every young person in Scotland.

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: “Our Pathway Apprenticeships programme will provide work-based training which will start by helping 1,200 young people gain key skills in sectors like construction, business, IT, engineering and early years education.

“It is essential that young people, who will make up our future workforce, can build their confidence, gain industry insight and develop valuable skills that employers require.”

Pathway Apprenticeships are one of a range of measures introduced and being developed to support young people and employers.

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell said: “We know young people will be disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Pathway Apprenticeships support the future employment prospects of Scotland’s young people and offset the rising levels of youth unemployment caused by the economic impact of Covid-19.”

Construction will be one of seven different sectors supported in the first phase of Pathway Apprenticeships.

Jim Brown, Director, Energy Skills Partnership is part of the Construction Scotland Modern Apprenticeship Taskforce.

He said: “The Taskforce has responded to the COVID-19 crisis supporting existing apprentices, whilst ensuring an adequate supply of future Modern Apprentices through the development of the Pathway Apprenticeship in Construction.”

He cited partnership work between industry federations, government, SDS, the Scottish Funding Council and construction body CITB working with colleges and the ESP as key to providing an ‘industry-led’ response.

He added: “Not only will the Pathway Apprenticeships provide best opportunity to progress into a Modern Apprenticeship with up to three months counting towards their progress, participants will receive industry-devised training at one of the three colleges supporting construction – South Lanarkshire, City of Glasgow and Dundee and Angus – a training allowance and a travel allowance.”

Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive said: “During these challenging times it will be essential for employers to support young people, and I urge them to get involved with Pathway Apprenticeships to help create a pipeline of recruitment, while gaining early access to young talent.

“Our recent Construction Skills Network (CSN) report highlights the importance of protecting talent and investing in skills in the coming year, which is why we’re really pleased to be able to support in the delivery of this fantastic initiative.”

Pathway Apprenticeships will offer training for unemployed or economically inactive young people to 26 weeks of training – with a £100 weekly allowance.

Through its Programme for Government and other recent announcements Scottish Government has committed to prioritising funding towards recruitment and retention of apprentices – and a pipeline of apprenticeship opportunities.

More information about Pathway Apprenticeships is on www.apprenticeships.scot