John Swinney announces expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships

Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, announced at the SNP conference in Aberdeen that they will be a massive expansion of Foundation Apprenticeship of up to 5,000 by 2019.

SCOTLAND’S DEPUTY FIRST minister has announced the rapid expansion of modern apprenticeship across Scotland.

John Swinney told the SNP party faithful in Aberdeen that the new Foundation Apprenticeships that started last year with 350 apprentices will increase to up to 5,000 by 2019.

The education secretary said “As part of our work to deliver excellence for all, we are working to widen access to university. But not every young person can or should go on to university.  

“That’s why we have been reforming vocational education and increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships, hitting new records every year on the road to our target of 30,000 new starts by the end of this Parliament.”

“They are the chance to get a head start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and gaining the experience every employer looks for.” John Swinney

Swinney added: “We need the whole system to work together if we are going to make the scale of difference that is our ambition. And, we need to break down the barriers between the different parts of the system.

“That’s what our new Foundation Apprenticeships do.

“They are apprenticeships undertaken at school, with work-based learning, alongside academic exams. They are the chance to get a head start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and gaining the experience every employer looks for.”

The policy was developed and delivered in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland with the support from the European Social Fund.

“By the end of 2019, 5,000 new start Foundation Apprenticeships will be available in Scotland’s schools, raising the attainment bar in vocational education and giving all our young people equal chances and choices to succeed at school and to succeed in life” John Swinney

The Foundation Apprenticeships will be undertaken while the young person is still at school, at the same time still take academic exams. The pupils will start their learning while they fifth year in school where they can study both Highers and National 5 qualifications.

The programme will see students complete their apprenticeship over two years.

Swinney said: “So far, this innovative approach has been small scale while this groundbreaking programme was developed. 350 Foundation Apprenticeships were started in 2016.

“We will now massively expand that number. By the end of 2019, 5,000 new start Foundation Apprenticeships will be available in Scotland’s schools, raising the attainment bar in vocational education and giving all our young people equal chances and choices to succeed at school and to succeed in life.”

“Foundation Apprenticeships are a new and innovative way to equip young people with industry recognised qualifications and practical experience which meet industry demand and regional skills needs, both now and in the future.” Damien Yates, Skills Development Scotland

According to the Scottish Government, Foundation Apprenticeships will offer young people the opportunity to gain a qualification while working with some of Scotland’s best-known employers in sectors such as engineering and software development.

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland, said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are a new and innovative way to equip young people with industry recognised qualifications and practical experience which meet industry demand and regional skills needs, both now and in the future.”

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