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Expansion of Scottish Training Programme

Scotland gets new life sciences apprenticeship and expansion of engineering and construction apprenticeships as new skills organisation is launched.

Scotland is to get new national training programmes including a Modern Apprenticeship in life sciences and more opportunities in the construction and engineering-related sectors.
The announcements come as a new organisation, Skills for Scotland, chaired by Willy Roe, is launched today. Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The Skills Strategy, Skills for Scotland, clearly sets out the vision for the development and utilisation of skills, to better meet the needs of individuals and employers.
"The establishment of Skills Development Scotland, which is formally launched tomorrow, is a major step forward in making the changes required to bring this strategy to life.”
Ms Hyslop added: "We are keen to build on the programmes inherited from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and that’s why a number of changes will be made to our national training programmes.
"We want to expand provision to deliver effective skills development opportunities that meet the needs of employers and employees. By doing this we can give Skills Development Scotland the opportunity to develop a coherent programme of training in line with the Government Economic Strategy.”
Skills Development Scotland was created by merging Careers Scotland, learndirect Scotland and most of the skills and training functions of the Enterprise Networks.
Willy Roe, Chairman of Skills Development Scotland, said: "Life Sciences is a key sector for Scotland with a high growth potential and the capacity to boost productivity through enhanced support, including the introduction of modern apprentices. Traditional areas of construction and engineering continue to provide solid returns and with the Commonwealth Games expected to create an additional 1,200 jobs we can see the clear need to continue skill development in this area.
"However outwith these sectors, the outcomes have been less favourable. We therefore need to take a little time, working closely with the key sectors involved, to identify the innovative ways by which we can secure effective workforce development."
The number of 16-19 year old MAs will be increased by 10% and adult MAs by 50% in engineering and construction areas.
Voicing support for the announcement, Dr Peter Hughes, Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, said: "Scottish Engineering welcomes the government’s approach in emphasising the importance of Modern Apprenticeships in the construction and engineering sectors. This will help to address the difficulties we have with an ageing workforce and help to tackle the current skills shortages."
Rosie Spowart

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