Employers will be offered more in training push

Rebecca Lee Photography
Rebecca Lee Photography

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) has brought together more than 300 apprenticeships from across its network of colleges to offer employers a “regional portfolio” of training opportunities.

UHI said its new scheme would make it easier for businesses to access skills development programmes from across its partnership as well as from their local college. Through its nine colleges, stretching from Shetland to Argyll and the Outer Hebrides to Moray, the university is offering modern apprenticeships (MAs) in a range of subject areas, including hospitality, engineering, administration and retail.

Diane Rawlinson, UHI’s vice-principal for further education, said: “Research shows that employing apprentices can increase productivity and innovation.

“The key to the success of apprenticeships is the engagement of employers in the delivery and the combination of both technical and employability skills development. Each employer has their set of values they wish to embed and particular ‘soft skills’ they value. We work to assist them.”

The university said its regional programme aimed to provide employers with access to “comprehensive apprenticeships tailored to their needs”.

College staff will support employers to recruit employees for training as well as providing guidance to the business and apprentice throughout the process. Apprentices can access university facilities and have the option to progress to further education opportunities once they have completed their training.

Skills Development Scotland north region head Anthony Standing said: “Apprenticeships have been developed to respond to the needs of industry. The number of apprenticeship opportunities demonstrates that there remains a healthy pipeline of talent available to employers and the successful work being delivered by the university to support the needs of the local economy.”

UHI offers MAs through its Argyll, Inverness, Lews Castle, Moray, North Highland, Orkney, Perth and West Highland colleges. They are available at Shetland College UHI through the local council.