Scottish Engineering has been urging the Scottish Government to clarify its announcement some months ago indicating support for employer incentives to ensure apprentice levels in industry. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced details on a key apprenticeship initiative that has been developed by Skills Development Scotland and will be available in January 2021.

The Apprenticeship Employer Grant will provide up to £5000 to employers recruiting new staff or upskilling existing employees through Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. Members should note that funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1st December 2020. More information and application details on the Apprenticeship Employer Grant will be made available from early January 2021, and it should be noted that funding will only be available for starts until 25th March 2021 or until funding levels are exceeded, whichever comes first.

Any apprentices impacted by redundancy this year will have support through the launch of the Apprentice Transition Plan service. Delivered in partnership with learning providers across the country, 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. A further programme aiming to help future skills provision are Pathway Apprenticeships for school leavers and young people up to 18-year-olds who are facing fewer opportunities to train and gain qualifications in sectors with long-term prospects. These are designed to enable a supply of future full modern apprentices when companies are able to restart apprentice programmes, with the advantage that the young person will have completed substantial portions of their ‘off-site’ learning under the pathway.

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