New figures published by Skills Development Scotland show the number of Modern Apprentice (MA) starts in 2017/18 has increased to 27,145.
The data confirms that construction was the biggest contributor to the MA programme with 6,104 starts, up from 5,934 in 2016/17.
The figures mean the Scottish Government’s annual target for MA starts has been exceeded for the seventh year in a row.
CITB directly supported 1930 Modern Apprentices last year, up 36% since 2011. With nearly 5000 apprentices currently in training, CITB is the single largest training provider of Modern Apprenticeships across all frameworks in Scotland.
Responding to the latest figures, Ian Hughes, Partnerships Director at CITB Scotland, said:
“To see construction and CITB leading the way in the Modern Apprenticeship programme in Scotland is tribute to the industry and our apprenticeships team.
“But we want to do even more to demonstrate what a vibrant and rewarding career construction can offer to candidates of all backgrounds, especially women. Only 1% of this year’s entrants were women, showing we need to do much more to tackle gender bias in construction trades. For this reason, CITB will be launching a new-style recruitment/careers campaign in 2019 to help improve diversity in Scottish construction.
“CITB is committed to working hard with our partners in industry and government to ensure that all young people know the benefits an apprenticeship can bring. We call on employers to get in touch if they are considering taking on an apprentice to help apprenticeship numbers continue to grow.
”The figures were welcomed by Stephen Sheridan, Skills Planning Manager for Construction at Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
He said: “Employers in the construction industry can rightly be proud of their track record in using Modern Apprenticeships to attract new recruits and to help them develop the skills needed for a rewarding career.
“Now with the growth of Foundation Apprenticeships, allowing senior school pupils to gain workplace experience, skills and an industry-recognised qualification, plus the development of Graduate Apprenticeships, mixing academic learning up to Master’s Degree level with practical experience, there are more options for employers to address their skills needs.
“SDS will continue working with employers and CITB to ensure businesses of all sizes in the sector are supported in developing the skills they need for future growth.”
The Modern Apprenticeships Statistics report can be found on the SDS Website.
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