Almost all apprentices still in work six months on

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) lead to longer term employment, greater confidence and improved job prospects for young people, according to a new report.

Ahead of delivering the inaugural Jimmy Reid memorial lecture in Glasgow tonight, First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed the survey – published by Skills Development Scotland – as highlighting “the enormous value of Modern Apprenticeships” to individuals and the economy.

The First Minister described the survey as showing the “positive ripple effect” of modern apprenticeships and helping create new opportunities for a whole generation.

Key findings from the report include:

  • 92 per cent of those who complete their MA are still in a job six months later
  • 87 per cent were satisfied with their training
  • 80 per cent felt more confident in their abilities
  • 68 per cent felt they had better long term prospects
  • 67 had moved into a post with increased responsibilities or with improved pay.

The First Minister said:

“The results of this survey, especially 92 per cent of those who complete their apprenticeships being in a job six months later, clearly demonstrate the enormous value of MAs, both to the individuals concerned, the companies that employ them and the wider economy.

“With more than a third receiving a pay rise thanks to their training and more than one in five being promoted or moved to a higher level job, this should be seen as a fantastic outcome for our MAs, particularly during a very challenging economic climate.

“Tonight I’m speaking about the legacy of Jimmy Reid and nothing honours that legacy more than helping create jobs and improve job prospects among our young people. This survey proves the positive ripple effect of MAs – two thirds of those who qualify have gone on to progress in their careers, so new opportunities are being created for a whole generation.

“As part of the Scottish Government’s work to support more young people into work, we are committed to at least 25,000 MAs in every year of this parliament. I cannot stress how important a young person could be to the future growth of thousands of businesses in Scotland.

Figures also published today showed that 34,390 Scottish school pupils and college students have been enabled to stay on in learning, and therefore improve their employment prospects by receiving an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in 2011-12.

The First Minister added:

“While the UK Government has withdrawn EMAs for students in England and Wales, the Scottish Government remains committed to providing support to those who need it most and last year supported almost 35,000 young people to stay in learning and therefore improve their employment prospects.  

“EMAs enable young people to stay on at school or college, ensuring they are better placed to access employment and training opportunities by gaining the relevant qualifications and experience. Our support targets those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring that our least well off young people can improve their life chances.

“Alongside our guarantee of a place in training for all 16 to 19 year olds and £80 million investment to support more job opportunities for young people, MAs and EMAs are vital ways in which we can support young people into work.”

Robert Tosh, lead engineer for BAE Systems Maritime Naval Ships and Scotland’s Modern Apprentice of the Year 2012, is among those who credit the programme with helping them progress their careers. The former Govan High School pupil added:

“The progress I’ve made is down to my training on and off the job. I’m motivated, I want to do well and I’ve been given the skills and encouragement to succeed in the workplace – it’s unique to the Modern Apprenticeship programme.”

Modern Apprenticeships are delivered by Skills Development Scotland and its partners on behalf of the Scottish Government.