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The date of Scotland's first ever Apprenticeship Summit s been set for Tuesday April 28, the Alliance of Sector Skills Employer conference was told recently.
Employers and stakeholders from all across Scotland will be invited to the event at the Signet Library in Edinburgh which will focus on the Modern Apprenticeship programme and how it can deliver in the current economic climate.
Key themes expected to be discussed are engagement with employers, the threat of redundancy and how Government can best support employers to develop the skills and jobs needed during the economic downturn and support employment opportunities in the recovery period.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop said:
"The Scottish Government is undertaking a range of work, through its economic recovery programme, to help individuals and organisations during the current downturn. We have committed an additional 16 million pounds to increase apprenticeship recruitment in Scotland.
"I have already been involved in discussions with major employers to explore how we can support employers across Scotland to increase the opportunities for modern apprentices. Our aim is to develop new high value sectors in the Scottish economy and we are committed to delivering for Scotland's key sectors as identified within the Government Economic Strategy.
"We have already announced that Glasgow City Council will be offered additional funding of around six million pounds over three years to help create up to 1000 new Modern Apprenticeship places and we have announced a further 50 Modern Apprenticeships for the creative sector.
"I really want to explore, at the upcoming Apprenticeship Summit, how the funding that we are providing can develop the skills and jobs needed during the economic downturn and support employment opportunities in the recovery period."
During the past few months, the Scottish Government has announced initiatives to further support people seeking to develop news skills and access training due to the economic downturn.
- Improving the help available through PACE to people who face losing their jobs by creating a national helpline, 0808 100 1855, launched on February 2, 2009, to connect individuals and companies to local PACE groups, alongside a revamped website to give better information about what support is available from each of the agencies involved
- Tasking 80 Skills Development Service staff to work alongside Jobcentre Plus to create a seamless service between skills development and employability support and minimise the time people affected by redundancy are out of work. A range of Integrated Employment and Skills Service pilots between SDS and Jobcentre Plus have now been put in place, including one launched in Port Glasgow by Ms Hyslop and Tony McNulty on February 9, 2009
- Allocating £7 million through the Scottish Funding Council to help colleges work with PACE to respond to the training needs of those who have been made redundant
- Improvements to financial support for part-time students, including changes to Individual Learning Accounts (ILA 200 and ILA 500) to give individuals more choices on where and what to learn and plans for the for the first time to introduce funding for up to 150 part-time post-graduate students on a pilot basis during session 2009-10