Baleful Labour blunder on Modern Apprentices

BALEFUL LABOUR BLUNDER ON MODERN APPRENTICES

LABOUR SHOULD RETRACT ATTACK ON SUCCESSFUL SKILLS PROGRAMME

Commenting on the Labour party’s attack on the Modern Apprenticeship scheme a spokesperson for the Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said:

“This is an astonishing blunder by the Labour party who obviously don’t understand Modern Apprenticeships. The scheme is run in the same way as when Labour were last in office and all apprentices are in employment. The fact that the Labour doesn't know this is staggering.

“It is extraordinary and disgraceful that Labour are attacking a highly successful scheme to upskill people for the future.

“The funding of £69 million in 2010/11 is nearly double than when Labour was last in Government – up from £35 million to £69 million; and the total number of modern apprenticeships and other training opportunities has more than doubled from 55,288 in 2006/07 to 112,501 in 2010/11.

“Last year, the Scottish Government invested around £72 million to support more than 26,427 Modern Apprenticeship starts – exceeding our target of 25,000. Yet Labour voted against the Budget which included 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships. If Labour had been elected we would have less Modern Apprenticeships.

“As a result, since April 2009 this Government has supported 35,000 young people aged 16-19 into and within the labour market through our commitment to the MA programme.

“Other nations are aspiring to have an apprenticeship programme like the one we have in Scotland. Our counterparts in England have now scrapped programme-led apprenticeships and moved to the Scottish model of full employed status.

“As well as supporting young people into work with training which meets industry demands, the programme also supports upskilling of the existing workforce within those sectors of the economy with growth potential such as energy and food & drink. The Government has always been clear about that.

“The SNP Government's balanced investment in the apprenticeship programme is good news for our young people who want to start their careers on a strong footing, for our businesses which want to grow through investment in their people and for our future economic success. These are things that are important for everybody in Scotland and we should all get behind them.

“For Labour to attack Scotland’s exceptional rate beggars belief. They should be retracting their silly attack on such a successful programme.”