Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the launch of Scotland’s Apprentice Network, which will help the next generation to discover the career opportunities offered by work-based learning.

The network will link every high school in Scotland with a former or current apprentice, who will encourage pupils to follow in their footsteps. It was launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she visited Forth Valley College in Falkirk on Monday, at the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

Mr Matheson said: “Apprenticeships offer a path into a wide variety of careers and thousands of young Scots each year are choosing to earn while they learn. This includes hundreds of young people in Falkirk district, many of whom are able to make the most of the excellent training opportunities offered locally.

“The Scottish Government is on course to achieve our target of 30,000 new apprentice starts next year – double the number when we took office. The Apprentice Network will no doubt help us to continue to build on this success, which has played an important role in boosting youth employment in Scotland and ensuring that we have a skilled workforce for the future.”

Ms Sturgeon said: “We know that work-based learning delivers for individuals, employers and the Scottish economy. Through the network, apprentices are going to have the chance to inspire young people to follow their example and become the apprentices of tomorrow.”

Katie Hutton, director of National Training Programmes at Skills Development Scotland, which will facilitate the network, added: “We know that the best people to showcase the benefits of apprenticeships are successful apprentices.

“Through the network, apprentices will have a unique opportunity to talk directly to school pupils who are making their career choices and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.”
Current and former apprentices who want to sign up to the network can find out more at www.apprenticeships.scot/network