Young people are the lifeblood of the economy. By investing in the next generation, we’re investing in a better future for everyone.
Sadly, this year, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty for many young people. A recent report from the Office of National Statistics found that young people in Britain aged 16-29 were worried about the effect coronavirus was having on their lives. Their main concerns were the effects on schools or universities (24%), their wellbeing (22%), work (16%) and household finances (16%).
One way businesses can support young people in Shetland this year and beyond is through Modern Apprenticeships. It’s a fantastic way to recruit and retain a skilled workforce, keeping jobs within the local community.
Modern Apprenticeships are for people aged 16 and over, giving individuals the chance to earn a wage while studying towards an industry-relevant qualification. As an employer, you pay the wages and Skills Development Scotland contribute towards the cost of the training. This training can be tailored to suit the needs of your specific business, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. It’s also a great way to inject some fresh ideas into your business through an enthusiastic and committed new recruit. A recent survey from Skills Development Scotland found that nine out of 10 employers would recommend taking on a Modern Apprentice.
Train Shetland - Vocational Training manages Modern Apprentices across a wide range of companies throughout Shetland. This includes posts in social care, childcare, business administration, construction and engineering.
“Taking on an apprentice is a great way to ‘grow your own’ – you can nurture and build your own workforce to suit your business needs,” explains Kevin Briggs, Joint Manager at Train Shetland.
"The Train Shetland team practise what they preach too, recruiting their own Modern Apprentices in business administration. Each recruit does a two-year apprenticeship where they build the skills to apply for a full-time role. “This puts the apprentice in a strong position, because they have the right training. Most of them get snapped up straightaway,” continues Kevin.
Indeed, Modern Apprentices have played a vital role in developing skilled workers in Shetland’s social care sector. In the past few years, the SIC’s social care team has recruited 24 Modern Apprentices, with another nine currently being shortlisted. Robbie Simpson, Team Lead at Newcraigielea, a facility that provides respite, short breaks and day care services to adults with learning disabilities, helps to coordinate the apprentices in this sector. He says: “The benefit of recruiting Modern Apprentices is that it allows us to develop and expand our registerable workforce. We provide vocational training to recruits and the chance for them to gain their SVQ Level 2 in Care – a qualification they require to work in this sector. Modern Apprentices give a huge boost to an organisation. They’re highly motivated people, who are keen to learn and contribute to the successful running of your business. I have nothing but positive things to say about them.”
If you don’t have any vacancies available for a Modern Apprentice, why not consider a Foundation Apprentice? This is where an S5 or S6 pupil comes into your business on work experience, learns new skills and receives a qualification equivalent to a Higher grade. There’s also the option to recruit a Graduate Apprentice. This is similar to a Modern Apprentice but the young person is training towards a degree, up to Masters level. It’s a fast-track route to provide your business with the graduate skills it needs.
If you’re interested in taking on an apprentice, Developing the Young Workforce Shetland would love to hear from you. You can fill in our enquiry form or drop us a line on 01595 771228.