We are delighted to note the proposed expansion of the Modern Apprenticeship programme by the Scottish Government from the current 25,000 starts a year to 30,000 by 2020 (your report, 16 April).
During challenging economic times it is the most vulnerable who suffer the most and we have a collective responsibility as a society to give them the chance to realise their full potential.
The rewards, however, of getting these young people into work are well worth it. Apprenticeship programmes provide the opportunity to do just this and at the same time help businesses thrive, especially in the sectors where we are currently facing a skills shortage.
One key grouping which is adversely affected by challenging economic circumstances are those young people with additional support needs (ASN).
We welcome the constructive relationship we have developed with the Scottish Government and the opportunity to work with them in boosting the number of those with ASN into employment.
The rewards of getting these young people, many of whom boast excellent skills, into work are well worth it, with higher loyalty and retention rates.
We would urge Scotland’s employers to look beyond the label of those with ASN when taking on a modern apprentice and take advantage of the various recruitment incentives on offer.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Spark of Genius
Who Cares? Scotland
Falkland House School