In a recent debate on modern apprenticeships, Nigel Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, congratulated the Scottish Government on working with Skills Development Scotland for identifying what skills are required, and then matching apprenticeships with the required skills.
Mr Don is the convenor of the cross-party group on construction and he noted that the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, CECA, is enthusiastic about foundation apprenticeships which are being piloted in two regions, because they enable even younger folk to get involved.
He said: “It seems to me that foundation apprenticeships offer a real opportunity to ensure that youngsters at school can get some real workplace experience and some understanding of what that industry might be about and of the opportunities that might exist in it.”
Emphasising the need for research to back up the effectiveness of apprenticeships Mr Don observed that a recent Audit Scotland report had made the point that it was quite difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of apprenticeships and of many other training opportunities.
Mr Don said: “Perhaps we need to encourage the Government to do more longitudinal studies on what happens in our society. Only by following a group of people through their teens, their 20s and maybe even into their 30s will we discover how effective such well-meaning and well-organised programmes are. Only by learning from that will we do better in the future.”