More than 19,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts were created by business and industry between April and December last year.
Latest figures show that there were 19,213 Modern Apprenticeship starts in Scotland during the nine month period.
The statistics for the third quarter of the financial year show that the number of starts is three quarters of the way towards the annual target of 25,500.
The figures – released by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) – show 80 per cent of the new Modern Apprenticeship starts were taken up by individuals aged 16 to 24-years old. Two thirds were at Level 3 or above.
Scottish Government has set a target of 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts each year by 2020.
SDS Depute Director of National Training Programmes, Katie Hutton, said: “The latest figures show that employers and industry continue to invest in training and developing their workforce through Modern Apprenticeships.
“Modern Apprenticeships offer young people jobs where they can learn while they earn, gaining industry recognised qualifications.
“We will continue to work with partners including training providers and businesses to support more employers to recruit apprentices.”
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The Scottish Government has set a target of 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts each year by 2020 and the latest statistics from Skills Development Scotland show that we are well on our way to achieving this.
“The third quarter of the financial year shows that the number of starts is three quarters of the way towards the annual target of 25,500.
“With more than 19,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts created by business and industry in the past nine months, I have been assured by Skills Development Scotland that they have put the right measures in place to ensure that we achieve our target in the final quarter.
“This Government is committed to making sure our young people have the best possible start in life and we will do all that we can to ensure they can access the world of work, indeed the latest figures show 80 per cent of the new Modern Apprenticeship starts were taken up by individuals aged 16 to 24-years old.
The plan also supports activity to increase uptake in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related apprenticeships among women.