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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07912: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 8 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how many modern apprentices have been hired by Scottish Prison Service each year, and what the annual cost has been.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 21 March 2017

To build on existing apprenticeship routes, SPS is currently working with Skills Development Scotland, to examine how apprenticeships can legitimately be part of our recruitment strategy to appoint apprentices to schemes that support Scottish Government targets and remain compliant with the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

The SPS does however appoint staff who may, as part of their initial training, undertake an apprenticeship award but such employees are not deemed to be modern apprentices. In each year since 2013, 10 individuals have been recruited to the Estates function under this initiative.

The SPS does not currently employ modern apprentices. This is because the Civil Service Recruitment Principles determine that appointments to the Civil Service, including apprentices, must be made on the basis of fair and open competition. Modern apprenticeships have an age criteria, therefore competition for these apprenticeships would not be deemed fair and open.

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, to respond. His response is as follows: