Scottish Government: First Minister backs call for rural Modern Apprenticeship
Plans for a dedicated Modern Apprenticeship teaching the land-based skills required for rural businesses are to be examined by an industry and government working group, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
The First Minister confirmed the Scottish Government, industry figures and Skills Development Scotland would look at proposals to improve the training and employment support available to young people living in rural areas to help them meet the skills required to grow Scotland’s rural economy.
Speaking at the AGM of Scottish Land and Estates in Edinburgh, the First Minister welcomed a proposal brought forward by the body that would see the establishment of a dedicated rural Modern Apprenticeship covering skills such as gamekeeping, deer stalking, forestry and water supply management.
Mr Salmond confirmed that Scottish Land and Estates would be among the groups invited to join the working group, which would investigate how this vital area of skills training could be improved.
The First Minister said:
“Across virtually all sectors of the economy, skills are essential, and we can be very proud of delivering a record-breaking 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland last year.
“The current economic climate continues to put pressure on the options available to our young people to improve their skills, so we must work even harder to make sure opportunities are both available and accessible across all sectors – including the rural economy, which is so important to Scotland.
“Scotland’s young people are enthusiastic about work, and with the right nurturing could flourish under the wing of an employer who was willing to invest in their training and teach them the skills they need to succeed.
“The proposal that Scottish Land and Estates submitted to the Scottish Government to develop rural Modern Apprenticeships gives clear evidence of a strong commitment in the rural sector to nurturing that talent and addressing the specific skills needs of rural businesses.
“I warmly welcome the proposal for a rural Modern Apprenticeship, and I can announce today that Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Government will work with industry to develop it further.
“Skills development is essential to a vast range of rural businesses – from gamekeeping to water supply management – and we look forward to working with Skills Development Scotland and rural industry so that more young people can gain the opportunities they need to succeed in these vital occupations.”
Luke Borwick, chairman of Scottish Land and Estates said:
“Encouraging the next generation in our sector is vitally important for the future of rural businesses.
“We are delighted the Scottish Government, in setting up this working group, recognises the important role land-based businesses play as significant employers in the rural economy.”
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