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08/12/16 10:00

Changes to Modern Apprenticeships

New measures to boost access.

New changes to Modern Apprenticeships will provide more flexibility for employers, including those in the public sector, while also widening access for rural communities, people with disabilities and experience of care.

The measures were announced today by Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn at the Scotland Policy Seminar: Priorities for Skills Development and Apprenticeships in Edinburgh.

Following consultation with employers, providers and stakeholders, changes will come into effect for providers delivering Modern Apprenticeships in 2017-18:

  • A new Rural Supplement for training providers in recognition of the additional costs for delivering in rural areas
  • The removal of public sector eligibility restrictions, meaning from April 2017, public sector employers will have the same access to Modern Apprenticeship funding as those in the private and third sector
  • An increase in the number of Modern Apprenticeships Frameworks that can be supported for apprentices aged over 25
  • Enhanced contribution rates for disabled people and those with experience of care up to the age of 29.

Mr Hepburn said:

“Modern Apprenticeships are integral to making sure young people have opportunities to access the labour market, can develop their skills and achieve industry recognised qualifications, while also supporting industry to meet their current and future workforce needs.

“It’s crucial that we have a workforce with the right skills to meet our social and economic needs and which will be responsive and resilient to future changes, such as the severe economic threat posed by the UK Government’s plans to leave the European Union.

“In response to the UK Government’s plans for the Apprenticeships Levy, we are committed to building a distinctly Scottish approach that meets the needs of the Scottish economy. We recently consulted with employers and wider stakeholders to inform how best we can do this, and the measures I am announcing today are in direct response to the issues raised during that consultation.

“Taking account of the fact they will be required to pay the new Levy, from April next year, we will be removing current eligibility restrictions from public sector employers, giving the same access to funding across the private, third and public sectors.

“In response to feedback from that consultation we are also expanding the number of frameworks in Scotland that will offer funding for those over 25.

“The new Rural Supplement will ensure that employers and young people in some of the more remote parts of Scotland are not disadvantaged, while the new measures to support those with experience of care and with disabilities will also improve access and the success of completion in the programme.

“In Scotland we are seeing real success in supporting young people into work. We surpassed our target to deliver 25,500 Modern Apprenticeship last year and we are moving towards our commitment to fund 30,000 starts by 2020, which means even more people and employers will be able to benefit from work based learning and apprenticeships.”

Skills Development Scotland Director of National Training Programme, Katie Hutton, said:

“Modern Apprenticeships are designed to meet employer demand as well as providing individuals with the opportunity to work, learn and earn. “These changes mean more individuals and employers across Scotland will be able to benefit from apprenticeships and work based learning.”