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The Common Weal resonates with employability, says Minister for Employability

30 August 2017

The Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn MSP was speaking to apprentices and employers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) at an event to discuss new apprenticeship schemes.

He said: “I can think of nothing more important from my perspective of employability. We need to use every lever at our disposal to ensure young people have the opportunities, and if that’s not for the common weal, I’m not sure what is.”

The event, organised by the School of Engineering and Built Environment and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), brought together public sector bodies to learn about the Graduate Level Apprenticeship scheme, launched in Scotland earlier this year by the Scottish Government and SDS.

Mr Hepburn continued: “This forum provides the opportunity to harness our capacity as employers for supporting, innovation and learning in relation to workforce.  It is also a mechanism, in which, we can consider the public sector’s contribution to the Scottish labour market needs for the services we collectively deliver.”

The University was the first in Scotland to roll-out the apprenticeships in Software Development for Business and IT Management for Business in January 2017.

Lyle Boylan, an NHS IT customer support worker, is one of the first apprentices in Scotland to study IT Management for Business.

He said: "It’s an experience and a learning curve. I never thought I’d be back at university but I’d encourage anyone who gets this opportunity without a shadow of a doubt.

“There is a tendency with the public sector that when money is tight, training is the first thing to go as it doesn’t get the immediate results. Schemes like this are an opportunity to invest in people.”

Ronnie Beattie, from GCU, added: “Graduate Level Apprenticeships are a game changer in higher education and GCU is at the forefront of this, as the first university in Scotland to deliver the new Graduate Level Apprenticeship.

“Work-based learning is an excellent opportunity for individuals to develop and enhance their career opportunities. By working with employers, we know the skills, knowledge and competence required to meet market demands.”

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is delivering the Graduate Level Apprenticeships with support from the European Social Fund.

The Scottish Government is committed to the expansion of the Apprenticeship programmes and to increase the number of Graduate Level and Foundation Apprenticeships during 2017-18. During this time, Scotland will receive £221million levy funding through the block grant.

Other apprenticeship programmes are in the pipeline in engineering and management and will commence in September 2018. More on Graduate Level Apprenticeships.