Apprenticeships ‘given to employed’ From Scotsman.com
Published: 09 June 2012
More than 10,000 publicly-funded apprenticeships designed to help unemployed people have been given to people already in work, according to figures released by the Scottish Labour party.
The figures were obtained from Skills Development Scotland by Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale.
Four out of 10 apprenticeships in Scotland went to people who had been in their job for more than six months.
Among the 26,000 Modern Apprenticeships started last year, 61% had been in post for up to six months, with the rest – 39% – in work for longer than six months.
Among 16 to 19-year-olds, the figure for those in work for less than six months was 81% – with 19% having been in their job for longer than that.
Kezia Dugdale MSP, Labour’s shadow minister for youth employment, said: “One of the Scottish Government’s flagship policies has been exposed as a blatant con. They said they had created 25,000 apprenticeships. What they actually did was take at least 10,000 people who were already in jobs and re-badge their employment as apprenticeships.
“There is a huge gap between the rhetoric from Alex Salmond and the reality for young Scots facing a future on the dole. There are over a hundred thousand unemployed young people in Scotland and they deserve real and credible help to get into work. Instead, the Scottish Government offers a piece-meal approach which is having limited impact on a lost generation.”
The Scottish Parliament is due to debate youth employment later this week.
A spokesperson for Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said: “This is an astonishing blunder by the Labour Party who obviously don’t understand Modern Apprenticeships. The scheme is run in the same way as when Labour were last in office and all apprentices are in employment. The fact that Labour doesn’t know this is staggering.
“It is extraordinary and disgraceful that Labour are attacking a highly successful scheme to upskill people for the future. The funding of £69 million in 2010/11 is nearly double than when Labour was last in government – up from £35 million to £69 million; and the total number of modern apprenticeships and other training opportunities has more than doubled from 55,288 in 2006/07 to 112,501 in 2010/11. For Labour to attack Scotland’s exceptional rate beggars belief. They should be retracting their silly attack on such a successful programme.”
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