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19 July 2016

SNP Success Highlighted on UN World Youth Skills Day

The SNP is marking UN World Youth Skills Day by highlighting figures showing that the number of people in Modern Apprenticeships has grown by over ten thousand since the party came to office in 2007.

An analysis of figures from Skills Development Scotland shows the number of Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland has risen from 15,803 in 2007/08 to 25,818 in 2015/16 – an increase of 63.4 per cent. The SNP in government exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year between 2011/12 and 2014/15 – as well as exceeding the new target of 25,500 in 2015/16, ahead of increasing the target to 30,000 a year by 2020.

The Scottish Government this week launched a consultation on how Scotland should respond to the Apprenticeship Levy – a UK Government policy introduced without consulting Scotland despite apprenticeship policy being a devolved matter. There is concern that the Levy could reduce the number of employers able to offer apprenticeships, putting at risk the work the Scottish Government has done to improve access to apprenticeships.

Commenting, local SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson, said:

“These very welcome figures highlight a key success of the SNP in government – with the number of Modern Apprenticeships rising by over 60 per cent since 2007/08 and more young people being given an opportunity to get into work, learn a skill and secure a better future.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of the SNP’s successful youth employment strategy – and the Scottish Government exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year between 2011/12 and 2014/15. In 2015/16, the Scottish Government also exceeded its new target of 25,500, which is set to increase to 30,000 by 2020.

“It is absolutely vital that full powers over modern apprenticeships, including those on minimum pay, are in Scotland’s hands – rather than held by a right-wing Tory government led by Theresa May. The Scottish Government’s consultation on the Apprenticeship Levy is welcome, and will help give businesses across Scotland a chance to work with the Scottish Government on mitigating any negative impact of the UK Government’s policy.

“The SNP’s record in supporting and empowering our young people is second to none – and with full powers over all aspects related to Modern Apprenticeships devolved to Scotland rather than left with the Tory Government at Westminster, we could take further action to deliver a fairer wage for apprentices and ensure that they have all the support they need to succeed.”
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