Education minister launches Scottish Apprenticeship Week at Fife College

Education minister launches Scottish Apprenticeship Week at Fife College

Minister for higher and further education Graeme Dey MSP kicked off Scottish Apprenticeship Week at Fife College’s new Dunfermline Campus.

Welcomed by college principal Jim Metcalfe, the minister met apprentices from the new campus build’s main contractor Balfour Beatty in a visit that marked the start of a week of events and activities across the country to highlight the importance of apprenticeships.

The minister was joined by constituency MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, cabinet secretary for social justice.

Fife College, officially one of the best colleges in Scotland to go from ‘learn’ to ‘earn’, is due to open its new Dunfermline Campus in 2025. The innovative new campus is being built using the latest low-energy and net-zero processes with apprentices playing a key role in the construction.

Mr Dey said: “Apprenticeships are vital for supporting young people into valuable, rewarding careers and helping people upskill, reskill and progress in their chosen careers.

“They provide life-changing skills that society needs to build a wellbeing economy, supporting our transition to net zero.

“The Scottish Government’s priority is for high quality apprenticeships that provide sustainable jobs and careers characterised by fair work.”

Fife College principal Jim Metcalfe said: “Fife College is an accelerator for jobs and opportunity, and apprenticeships are at the heart of that ambition.

“Running one of the most substantial Modern Apprenticeship programmes in Scotland, our dedication to developing talent through apprenticeships plays a key role in shaping the skilled workforce needed within the Fife region.

“Combining working and learning, apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to gain the skills and experiences employers are looking for while also earning. For employers, they offer unique opportunities to develop enthusiastic young talent with the exact skills and experience their business requires.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Skills Development Scotland and dozens of local businesses to ensure Fife continues to benefit from the full range of apprenticeship opportunities.”

Hector MacAulay MBE, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland, said: “At Balfour Beatty, we are committed to investing in the next generation of talent and providing young people with the skills and experience they need to flourish in their long-term, future careers.

“As we celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week, I would encourage others to consider our industry and join those who are already benefitting from the wide range of exciting opportunities we have to offer.”

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell, added: “Apprenticeships are giving back to Scotland by supporting employers to deliver economic benefits as well as societal wellbeing benefits across the country.

“Across Scotland, around 40,000 people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are accessing high-quality jobs and transforming their lives through Scottish Apprenticeships.

“Apprentices also contribute by paying taxes as well as their employers contributing £10 for every £1 spent by the government on training.

“It is very clear that apprenticeships play a vital role in meeting economic, environmental and health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities, helping Scotland to become a fairer, more equal society.”

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