Aberdeenshire Council has claimed it is “ahead of the curve” with its effort to equip young people with essential post-school life skills.
Unemployment rates in Scotland are significantly higher for young people compared with adults.
As a result, Foundation Apprenticeships were developed to help young people gain “real-word” experience and get a head start on the often-hard to climb career ladder.
Taken over one or two years by senior pupils, the apprenticeship leads to a qualification at the same level as a Higher.
This week marks Scottish Apprenticeship week, with the hard work of young people celebrated across the country.
And yesterday Aberdeenshire Council announced it had increased the number of Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities to an additional 200.
Creative & Digital Media #foundationapprenticeship students from @PortyAcad & @PeterheadA at @shmuORG. Amazing opportunities for knowledge engaged learning & success. @dywshire @DYW_NorthEast @maureenSNP #ScotAppWeek20 pic.twitter.com/T4NqvcrlZf
— The Wood Foundation (@TWF_Scotland) March 2, 2020
Going forward, the authority is focusing on opportunities within the health and social care fields, with 16 apprentices at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and other NHS facilities.
NHS Grampian’s learning and development manager Douglas Andrew, who is coordinating the apprenticeship programme at ARI, said: “The delivery of foundation apprenticeships is an integral part of nurturing the young workforce and we’re very pleased to be one of Aberdeenshire Council’s key partners.
“Our young apprentices are a hugely positive addition to our busy teams and we look forward to welcoming many more in the future.”
Gillian Owen, chairwoman of the education and children’s services committee for Aberdeenshire Council added: “We are ahead of the curve here in Aberdeenshire; we’re proud to be delivering so many Foundation Apprenticeships by building capacity to support these qualifications within schools as well as developing strong partnership links.
— Aboyne Academy (@aboyneacad) March 20, 2019
“We couldn’t do it without our partners and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone – including our colleagues at NHS Grampian – who is helping to make our programme such a success.”
Meanwhile the Robert Gordon University has announced a further 175 funded Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) with Aberdeen, Rangers, Celtic and St Mirren Football Clubs.
GAs have been developed by SDS in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sectors.
— It's Scottish Apprenticeship Week at RGU (@RobertGordonUni) March 2, 2020
They offer a way for individuals to get qualified up to degree level while in full-time, paid employment.
They are designed by employers and offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees.
Aberdeen FC was the first club to sign on to the GA programme in 2018, with the other clubs following suit in 2019.