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Call for Businesses to Help Shape Future of Work-Based Learning

16 May 2014 

Scottish employers must have a leading role in shaping the skills of the next generation, an audience of key business representatives heard today. The comments were made by Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women's Employment Angela Constance speaking at a skills summit in Aberdeen hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The Cabinet Secretary called for businesses the length and breadth of the country to work in partnership with the education sector and the Scottish Government to ensure the recommendations of the upcoming final report by the Wood Commission make a difference to the lives of Scotland's young people.

Ahead of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2014, Ms Constance also stressed the need for Scotland's employers to continue to make young people their business.

She said:

"The Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce - chaired by Sir Ian Wood, a man who has contributed greatly to Aberdeen and Scotland's economic success - will publish its final report very shortly and I fully expect its recommendations to form a blueprint to transform vocational education in Scotland.

"The Commission's interim report called for improvements to be made in areas such as Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. We are looking at these very closely and have already announced a year on year increase in the number of Modern Apprenticeship starts by 2020 to 30,000 each year with a focus on higher level qualifications.

"The upcoming report will focus on increasing employer engagement with education and training and how more employers could be supported to recruit young people. No doubt the Commission will set the bar high for all of us - that is what they were asked to do.

"I would call upon employers to consider the report very carefully when it is published and to work in close partnership with the Scottish Government and local authorities to make young people their business, a message that is particularly important ahead of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

"We all have a duty to help our young people maximise their potential."


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