Holyrood backs apprenticeships

In recognition of the severe impact of Covid-19 on the economy and the knock-on consequences on employment opportunities, the Scottish government has increased support for apprenticeships.

And NFU Scotland this week urged any farmers thinking about bringing new blood into their workforce to consider the benefits of the Apprenticeship Employer Grant (AEG).

Commenting on the fund which remains open until 25 March and is worth up to £5000 to an employer the union’s Skills Development Policy Manager George Jamieson said: “Taking on an apprentice is a sound investment in our industry’s future. If you are considering creating an employment opportunity on your farm or croft, then this grant could be the stimulus you need to go down that route. The funding covers all sectors in Scotland and the deadline for applications is just three weeks away.”

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He said many might have swithered about taking on an apprentice or upskilling a member of staff, but the AEG could be an incentive to get them to take that first step to helping an apprentice join the sector.

“The farming sector has been slow to warm to the apprenticeship model, but NFUS is working closely with providers and schools to raise the ambition and profile of the Modern Apprenticeship model and we encourage farmers to learn more and consider the potential to existing staff of new staff.”

Information on apprenticeships is available from NFUS, Lantra, local college or training providers or any farmer who has supported a Modern Apprentice.