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New principles for Scottish Apprenticeships have been created following work with industry and employers - recognising the need for apprenticeships to be ready for the future in a changing world of work.
The new principles set out expectations for apprenticeships from ‘design through to delivery’. Their development is part of Skills Development Scotland’s on-going work with industry and key stakeholders on apprenticeship standards and frameworks in Scotland.
The development is being driven by the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) Standards and Framework Group (SFG), which is the industry voice for apprenticeships.
Colette Filippi, Head of Standards and Frameworks at Skills Development Scotland said:
“SAAB SFG members believe that apprenticeships – in providing industry-wide transferable skills - are vital components of the Scottish economic and skills landscape.
“It is therefore important that we have a well-defined apprenticeship system, from the design through to delivery, which is what the new principles provide.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part and supported the consultation and engagement.”
SAAB’s Standards and Frameworks Group led extensive work and consultation, supported by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to develop the new set of principles. This included a wider public consultation exercise, involving employers and their representative organisations, individuals, trade unions, training providers, and universities and colleges.
The aims in developing the principles are to:
The 14 principles are backed by the Scottish Government and Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP and Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.
The principles have been based on a review of existing elements along with best practice examples from high-performing international models.
Eight in 10 (79%) of those who participated in the survey reported a very high level of satisfaction with their apprenticeship, scoring it eight or more out of 10.
The majority who responded also had the ambition to remain with their current employer. This supports an earlier SDS survey of individuals at approximately six months post-apprenticeship*, which reported that most were still working for the same employer.
The Modern Apprenticeship In-Training Survey was conducted by SDS to understand current Modern Apprentices’ perceptions of their employment and training experience.
The survey also revealed that the opportunity to learn new skills was the reason most gave for taking an apprenticeship, over other popular motivations such as the level of qualification to be gained.
In addition, the quality of the training aspect of the apprenticeship was rated highly by the apprentices.
Katie Hutton said: “The in-training survey forms part of our continuous improvement work, ensuring that we gain feedback from apprentices on their level of satisfaction and the quality of their apprenticeship.
“The results provide some interesting insight into apprentices, in terms of aspirations and motivations. Most are satisfied with their job, indicating that apprenticeships can help businesses effectively manage employee retention.”
The research follows an Apprenticeship Wellbeing Survey, conducted by SDS and published earlier this year to understand long-term outcomes for those who had completed apprenticeships, with respondents reporting high levels of wellbeing and satisfaction.
The findings of the survey have been welcomed by Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn, who said:
“I am delighted to see the results of this survey and the high satisfaction scores from Modern Apprentices which reflect the partnership between apprentices, employers, and training providers to ensure the success of Scotland’s Apprenticeship system.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for individuals to gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the world of work and I am particularly heartened to read that 96% of Modern Apprentices would recommend Apprenticeships to others.”
Key findings from the Modern Apprenticeship In-Training Survey can be found on the SDS website here.
*Modern Apprenticeships Intermediate Outcomes report, 2016
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Full induction training and supporting resources covering issues such as roles and responsibilities, accountability and governance arrangements will be offered to new Board members.
Being a Board member at Skills Development Scotland is a rewarding and inspiring experience. To excel in the future, we must act now. With the recent publication of our Strategic Plan 2019-2022, we’re looking forward to rising to the challenge of building a Human Future and a joint vision of Scotland where we leverage our innate human characteristics and strengths, and work together to drive a strong, vibrant and resilient economy.
Each of the new board members will bring one of the following priority skills to our members, and all will bring the general skills:
Should you decide you are able to contribute to our work, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Please visit www.appointed-for-scotland.org/How-to-apply for further information on how to apply. If you would like to find out more about what we do or the specific role of our Board before you apply, you can watch a video of one of our current Board members, Beth Corcoran, or you can contact our Chief Executive’s Office at Board&Committees@sds.co.uk.
We can also put you in touch with a current Board member who will be more than happy to explain what is involved in the role.
If you have any specific queries about the application process you can contact Public Appointments on Freephone 0300 244 1898 or at Public.firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for applications is 7 October 2019.
Work-based learning and apprenticeships also play a central role in the Future Skills Action Plan, which outlines the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland’s skills system. Scottish Government worked in close collaboration with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to develop the Action Plan, which builds on the Strategic Plan of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board. The strategy reinforces the view set out in SDS’s Skills 4.0 – A skills model to drive Scotland’s Future that people’s ‘meta-skills’ are vital to ensure individuals and industry can adapt within a rapidly changing economic landscape. Meta-skills are the human skills such as communication, teamwork and creativity that create adaptive learners.
Work-based learning is to be made an integral part of the skills offer and this includes a vital role in a focus on retraining and upskilling employees. SDS will work with Scottish Government, SFC, colleges, universities and employers to develop a wide range of in-work retraining and upskilling opportunities including the further development of Graduate Apprenticeships. The Plan also sets out a vision to introduce greater flexibility in the delivery of apprenticeships, while retaining the quality of the training they provide, in response to industry and learner demand.
SDS Chair Frank Mitchell said: “This plan outlines how we will create a more responsive system led by government and employers that drives upskilling and reskilling to reduce skills gaps, increase resilience and boost productivity.”Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Scotland’s highly skilled workforce ensures we are an ambitious, productive and competitive nation.
“While we already have a strong skills system in place, further change is needed to enable us to move forward confidently. This includes considering what skills provision is required and how we ensure the system is both agile and sustainable.
“The Future Skills Action Plan clearly signals our intention to invest more in the skills of those already in work, while promoting a culture of shared investment with employers in Scotland’s future workforce.”
Skills in Scotland’s screen sector were the focus of a recent Centre for Work-based Learning event in Edinburgh, organised as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in association with Skills Development Scotland and Screen Scotland.
It attracted more than 100 big hitters from the TV and film industry (as well as colleges, universities and other public agencies) looking to collectively tackle the shortage of trained staff and freelance workers able to support the growth of the industry.
SDS and Screen Scotland created a research briefing designed to inform the discussion on how the industry should rise to the challenges and opportunities offered by a sustainable, dynamic and diverse screen sector in Scotland. Contributions from the day are now being brought into the development of a new Screen Skills Strategy by the Screen Scotland Partnership.
A copy of the research report is available here.
Scotland’s school children are being taught about ethical hacking and digital forensics as part of an online challenge designed to find the country’s next generation of cyber superheroes.
The hugely popular Discover Cyber Skills initiative, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, is entering its third and penultimate year on a high after smashing its launch targets.
Organisers initially hoped that 4000 people would complete the course by the end of its four-year run, yet after only two years nearly 40,000 have joined in with the computer-based fun, both online and through real world events held across Scotland.
In previous years, pupils gained hands on experience of cracking password encryptions, hacking a bank, and defending a hospital from a cyber-attack. All were designed to get the message across about the importance of online security for both personal safety reasons and as a career option.
This year’s online lessons will see children role play a cyber security consultant tasked with protecting a fictional pizza restaurant chain, as well as being introduced to a range of digital forensic techniques as they try to solve a murder case.
Claire Gillespie, Sector Manager for digital technologies at SDS, said: “The fact this programme has been so successful shows the message is getting through about the amazing career opportunities in Scotland’s digital technology sector. It also shows that these lessons are a very welcome addition to the school curriculum, which is brilliant to see.”
The lessons are free, with no previous computer experience or skills needed, and the most popular challenge will be rerun during Cyber Scotland Week in 2020 (17-23 February 2020).