Apprenticeships up by over a fifth in Borders, minister reveals

The number of young people taking up modern apprenticeships in the Borders rose by 22% last financial year, the Scottish Parliament has been told.

That news was conveyed to Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton by Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government minister for training and employability.

In her Southern Reporter column last week, Mrs Hamilton, a Conservative, criticised the Scottish National Party government’s spending record on apprenticeships, claiming the less than 5% of spending devoted to its skills fund was “simply not enough”.

She also called on the Scottish Government to incentivise sectors of industry to offer more apprenticeships. In a written parliamentary question, Mrs Hamilton wanted to know what action the Government is taking to increase the number of apprenticeships in the Borders.

Mr Hepburn told her there had been 472 modern apprenticeship starts in the Borders last year, up from 387 the year before, representing a rise of more than a fifth. 

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