Scottish Government backs SFHA’s plan for increasing apprenticeships

Jamie Hepburn

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn has lent his support to a national plan which aims to increase Modern Apprenticeships in the housing sector and build a skilled and motivated workforce for the future.

Mr Hepburn will address delegates at a national conference today which focuses on the importance of apprenticeships to the future success of the housing sector.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is holding the Housing Scotland Apprentice Event 2018, which is taking place at the City of Glasgow College’s Riverside Campus, to highlight the importance of apprenticeships and the benefits they can bring to social landlords.

The event is being held as part of the SFHA’s Housing Apprentice Action Plan for Scotland 2017–2020. The plan aims to increase the amount and range of Modern Apprenticeships that are available, build a motivated workforce and ensure the housing sector is viewed as an attractive employment destination for young people who are looking for a fulfilling career.

The Action Plan aligns with the Scottish Government’s commitment to growing and widening Modern Apprenticeships across Scotland. The aim of the plan is to increase equality and diversity by addressing issues of gender, additional support and complex needs, and minority group participation, including BAME young people.

Mr Hepburn said: “Apprenticeships play an important role in preparing highly skilled workforces for the future, which, in turn, helps maximise growth opportunities for our businesses.

“I am delighted to support the SFHA’s Housing Apprentice Action Plan, which not only aims to increase modern apprenticeships in the housing sector but helps build a motivated and skilled workforce.

“More widely, the Scottish Government is committed to significantly expanding the number of new apprenticeships we offer, remaining on-track to achieve 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020.”

Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive, added: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister for Employability and Training to our conference, which is the first apprenticeship event for the Scottish housing sector.

“Investing in apprenticeships not only creates much needed job opportunities for young people, and gives them a foot on the career ladder, but they bring fresh thinking and new skills to organisations, which is vital to succession planning.

“Young people are our future leaders, so it is vital that we invest in them now so that our sector can remain resilient and provide the housing and services that Scotland will require in the years to come.”

The event has been designed by apprentices for employers, and the young people will be taking part in the conference by sharing their experiences during panel discussions and plenary sessions.

The conference will feature speakers from organisations, such as Skills Development Scotland, SHARE, and Youth Scotland, who will detail every stage of recruiting and managing apprentices and answer any questions that potential employers have.

The event also sees the return of the SFHA Apprentice Challenge, a competition for young people from SFHA member housing associations and co-operatives from across Scotland. The challenge will run throughout the conference, with entrants creating a presentation which answers questions based on real life housing sector scenarios, and the winner will be announced at the end of the event.

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