Angus MacDonald MSP has today welcomed news that almost 5,000 people have already been helped into a job through a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in 2013/14, as shown by official statistics published today.


This means that 500 more opportunities have been created compared to the same time last year, the clearest indication yet that the scheme is mutually beneficial to employers and young people.


The Scottish Government’s focus on youth unemployment continues to pay off with the ninth consecutive fall in youth unemployment in Scotland. The rate of youth unemployment has fallen by 2.0% or 14,000 in the last year to 19.1%, while in the rest of the UK youth unemployment has increased by 15,000 to 973,000.


SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said the Scottish Government’s success shows what Scotland can achieve with independent powers as Westminster ministers plan to come to Scotland and try and claim credit for what devolved institutions have achieved.


Mr MacDonald said:


“These figures further underline the Scottish Government’s efforts to promote opportunities for young people. With 500 more jobs being created through Modern Apprenticeships so far this year, we are seeing how Scotland’s youth labour market continues to outperform the rest of the UK.


“The time when young people are starting out in their careers has a massive effect on their life chances, so it is absolutely critical that every support possible is provided.


“While there is no room for complacency it is clear Scotland’s policies of investing in our young people through Opportunities for All, funding 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year, and much more is paying off.


“With Westminster ministers coming north to try and claim credit for the economic successes that have been achieved with the independence we have, this success only underscores why it would be better for Scotland to make all the economic decisions that affect our lives instead of a Westminster government Scotland has rejected. If we can achieve this with the independence we have, we could achieve far more with responsibility for the other decisions that affect our lives.


"As we see with the UK’s drastic inequality figures - there is so much more that we could be doing with the full economic and fiscal powers of independence to strengthen our economy and create jobs. Scotland is wealthy enough to be a fairer society and independence is the opportunity to achieve that."


“According to Skills Development Scotland statistics, in the Falkirk area, 172 young people started apprenticeships and from this 147 achieved a permanent workplace. This equates to a 74.2% success rate which is great for local youngsters.”


“I would encourage young people in the area to take up these Modern Apprenticeship opportunities and get the experience needed to boost their employment prospects.”


Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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