The conference was an opportunity for key stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the future for apprenticeships in Scotland. There were a number of perspectives ranging from the successes of the model which has been implemented in Scotland, where it could be improved and issues for Scottish businesses, including SMEs, regarding funding allocations and restrictions, for example in the case of apprentices aged 25 and over.
Sessions looked 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 discussed 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.
Delegates also considered government priorities for Graduate and Modern Apprenticeships - looking at apprenticeship retention and regional planning through regional skills investment plans. They examined 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 data science Graduate Apprenticeships and learner co-creation.
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