Scotland Policy Conferences

The future for apprenticeships in Scotland

Morning, Wednesday, 12th December 2018

Central Edinburgh


This seminar will provide a timely opportunity for key stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the future for apprenticeships in Scotland, with the Government’s Modern Apprenticeship goal of training at least 28,000 new apprentices for 2018/2019.

Delegates will consider the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy in Scotland, as the Scottish and UK Government continue to negotiate implementation. We expect them to examine how to address issues for Scottish businesses, including SMEs, regarding funding allocations and restrictions, for example in the case of apprentices aged 25 and over. 

Further sessions look at next steps for Foundation Apprenticeships, in the context of Skills Development Scotland’s ambition for them to be offered in every school by 2020. Delegates will discuss the effectiveness of these schemes in meeting the goal of tackling youth unemployment, easing transition from the classroom into the workplace, and ensuring funding certainty post-2020 - as well as lessons to be learnt for other forms of apprenticeships in providing young people with access to work-based learning.

The agenda also considers Government priorities for Graduate and Modern Apprenticeships - looking at apprenticeship retention and regional planning - particularly in rural areas. It will also examine ways in which apprenticeships can be used to tackle the skills gap in Scotland in the context of Brexit, and strengthening collaboration between industry and educational institutions through schemes such as the recently introduced data science Graduate Apprenticeships.

Guest of Honour

Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, The Scottish Government

Guest of Honour

Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, The Scottish Government

Keynote Speaker

Senior speaker confirmed from Skills Development Scotland


Fulton MacGregor MSP

Member, Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee


Lorna Trainer

Director, l&g learning

Gregor Scotland

Principal Policy Adviser, CBI Scotland

Dr John McGurk

Head of Regional Policy and Insights, CIPD

Ian Hughes

Strategic Partnership Director, CITB Scotland

David Brown

Head of Government and Public Sector, PwC

Julie Strachan

Head of Learning and Teaching Development, Robert Gordon University

Dr Ken Thomson

Principal, Forth Valley College

John Rafferty

Assistant Principal, Glasgow Clyde College

Sandy Campbell

Founder & Director, Working Rite

Stephen McNab

Documentation, Conformance, and Apprentice Leader, GE Aviation Caledonian