Digital world awaits new apprentices
Government ministers have spent Scottish Apprenticeship Week pressing business of all shapes and sizes to sign up to their skills policy.
But one of the more unlikely recruits this year has been the youth charity Young Scot, which is preparing nine apprentices to work at the heart of the digital media world.
The trainees, aged between 16 and 21, are being employed and trained by Young Scot in a creative and digital media programme developed in partnership with Creative Skillset, the sector skills council for the creative industries sector. The apprentices will be taught how to create and deliver everything from podcasts to video and social media content.
The on-the-job element of their training will be delivered by the creative and digital media services of various public sector organisations, including sportscotland and Central Scotland Police.
Gregor Urquhart, communications director of Young Scot, explained the organisation's thinking: it was not just organisations operating directly in the media industry that would in future require digital media services.
For many of the young people, it was not just about the digital skills, said Mr Urquhart. They had never been in an office or work environment before, and it was therefore also important to equip them with those skills.
They had hit the ground running, he added, tweeting from live events held by their host organisations and carrying out vox pops for online videos.
The modern apprenticeship in creative and digital media was developed by Creative Skillset after Young Scot and BBC Scotland identified a need for the course last year. BBC Scotland is currently employing nine modern apprentices in this scheme.
Construction apprentice numbers are stabilising after being hit hard by the recession, it was claimed.
The Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC), which is responsible for regulating and monitoring the working conditions, recruitment and training of Scottish construction apprentices, released new figures this week showing that between 2007 and 2010, the number of apprentices registered dropped by 52 per cent from 2,758 to 1,325. But registrations rose in 2011 by 53, suggesting the industry is starting to turn the corner, said the SBATC.
Figures released recently also showed the number of 16- to 24-year-olds out of work for more than a year and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has increased by 27 per cent.