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Moray Business Week: Engaging apprentices

Fish bar in Fochabers
Fish bar in Fochabers

Employers across Moray are being invited to a free event to hear how improving the skills of their workforce through work based learning can help growth and innovation.

Entitled “Meet the Apprentices – Make the Apprenticeship Family work for your Business”, the morning event is taking place at Forsyths in Rothes on Wednesday, 16 November.

Taking place as part of Moray Business Week, it will offer businesses of all sizes the chance to speak to experts from organisations including Skills Development Scotland (SDS) about the benefits of taking on apprentices and to hear about the latest developments in the range of apprenticeships available.

Roddy Innes, employer engagement adviser at SDS, is urging businesses keen on recruitment and workforce development to attend.

He said: “There is a great deal of evidence showing that work-based learning offers real and sustained benefits for businesses of all sizes.

“Apprenticeships are aligned to the needs of employers, there’s support with training and employers can attract motivated young people looking for a good start to their careers.

“Europe’s highest-performing economies have strong systems of work-based learning which contributes to low unemployment, fewer skills shortages and high economic growth.

“With the continued increase in modern apprenticeships now being complemented by foundation apprenticeships and graduate level apprenticeships, it’s the ideal time for employers to learn more about how this can benefit their business.”

SDS currently supports businesses in employing more than 25,000 modern apprentices each year, offering valuable on-the-job experience from day one and an accredited qualification.

Employers across Scotland are now involved in delivering foundation apprenticeships, which sees senior school students completing elements of an apprenticeship while still in the classroom and earning an industry-recognised qualification.

New graduate level apprenticeships are also offering advanced work-based learning opportunities up to master’s degree-level for employees.

Among those to benefit is Fochabers Fish Bar owner Darren Boothroyd, who has used modern apprenticeships to help build a thriving business, with his approach leading to a series of awards.

He said: “I was a qualified assessor and internal verifier for five years at RAF Lossiemouth and recognised the benefits of working with a well-trained, knowledgeable and enthusiastic workforce. Even though it is a very different business, I knew this was the ethos I wanted to adopt.

“For our staff, having a Modern Apprenticeship shows that they have something to contribute and gives them the confidence of having a national qualification and a high degree of pride in what they do.”

Employers can reserve their free place by visiting www.moraybusinessweek.com

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