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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00446: Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how many modern apprenticeship starts it expects over each of the next five years, broken down by (a) age, (b) level, (c) sector and (d) gender.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 16 June 2016

The Scottish Government has committed to offer at least 30,000 new modern apprenticeship (MA) starts each year by 2020.

The first stage of this increase has been delivered - the 2015-16 target of 25,500 new MA opportunities has been exceeded with 25,818 starts delivered in 2015. The new target for 2016-17 of 26,000 MAs was announced on 29 February 2016.

Since the introduction of the 25,000 target in 2011-12, we have exceeded the required number of starts each year, even during the economic downturn. We delivered over 120,000 new opportunities in the last parliamentary term.

Because the programme is led by demand from employers to offer MA opportunities, it is not possible to determine the age, level, sector or gender of apprenticeships in advance.

However, I can advise that in 2015-16:

79% of starts were aged 16-24.

The majority (65%) of starts were in higher level apprenticeships (SVQ Level 3 or above)

The largest proportion of starts were in construction frameworks (19%).

41% of starts were female

Addressing under-representation in our MA programme is a key priority for the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to address, in partnership with industry and delivery partners. The MA equalities action plan, published in December 2015, includes specific improvement targets for MA participation by black or minority ethnic, care leavers, disabled people and gender balance. The success of our MA programme has seen more than 128,000 people get an invaluable start to their career over the last five years and we want young women and men from all backgrounds to be able to seize these opportunities.