Sunday, 04 November 2018 06:50



The number of new apprenticeships in Scotland has increased by almost 20,000 since 2008, thanks to action by the SNP Government, and remains on track to achieve 30,000 new starts by 2020.

Meanwhile, apprenticeship starts in England have fallen by almost a quarter in the past year, despite the UK government introducing a levy to support an increase in apprenticeships.

In England, there were been 369,700 apprenticeship starts reported between August 2017 and July 2018, compared to 491,300 reported in 2016/17 and 503,700 in 2015/16.

The SNP is also calling on the UK Government to raise its National Living Wage to the level of the Real Living Wage and extend it to all workers over 18, including apprentices – something which the Chancellor failed to deliver in last week’s Budget.

Gil Paterson MSP said:

“The Tory government committed to an extra 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020, but instead, the figure has fallen by a staggering 25 percent.

“In contrast, the Scottish Government’s action to increase the number of apprenticeships has been transformational.

“The SNP has is committed to ensuring that young people are able to fulfil their potential in education, work or training – and since coming to power we have increased the number of new apprenticeships by almost 20,000. And we’ve set our sights even higher – to achieve 30,000 new starts by 2020.

“However, it is simply a disgrace that UK government legislation allows for apprentices to earn less than £4 an hour. And the Chancellor completely failed to end this disparity in last week’s Budget.

“With powers over the minimum wage in Scotland’s hands rather than in Philip Hammond’s, we can take further action to deliver a fairer wage for apprentices and ensure that they have all the support they need to succeed.”

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