Scottish Apprenticeship Week returns on 7-11 March 2022, and Business Scotland is supporting the event to show the value of apprentices to people, business and the economy.
This year’s theme, ‘Apprenticeships Work’ aims to highlight how apprenticeships are providing the skills that employers need now and for the future.
Developed in partnership with employers, apprenticeships continue to adapt to respond to industry needs. Scottish Apprenticeships work by providing thousands of opportunities to get a job, get paid and get qualified across Scotland every year. The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the number of apprenticeships in Scotland, and is providing opportunities and support for people and businesses to help strengthen the economy.
Scottish Apprenticeships are a crucial part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, providing thousands of opportunities for young people affected by the pandemic. Apprenticeships can help to drive equity of opportunity and give employers the tools and support to be inclusive in recruitment.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a time to show that apprenticeships provide opportunities that work for everyone. To find out more about how Scottish Apprenticeships work and to get involved, visit apprenticeships.scot. You can advertise an apprenticeship for free on the website, and access information on apprenticeship options, contributions to learning costs, funding incentives, and help with inclusive recruitment.
Did you know? More than 12,000 employers are currently involved in Scottish Apprenticeships.
There are around 43,000 apprentices in Scotland.
Meet Scotland’s top apprentice 2021
The week shines a light on the crucial role played by apprenticeships in supporting work-based training, employers and the Scottish economy.
Of course, the event wouldn’t exist at all without you – the employers – and over the years, businesses of all shapes and sizes have taken part. While the last couple of years have been far from normal, employers and apprentices have shown admirable determination in keeping valuable learning and work-based training on track.
This is Samir’s story.
Scotland’s top apprentice has had a momentous year – from working through the pandemic to winning two prestigious awards, and being one of the first people in the country to complete a Graduate Apprenticeship.
Samir Khan-Young was named Graduate Apprentice of the Year and Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in March 2021. During his apprenticeship at global tech company Thales, he stepped up and took over the nightshift with the manufacturing team to support making PPE for NHS frontline workers.
Having completed his Engineering Design and Manufacturing Graduate Apprenticeship, and celebrated the birth of his son, Samir said: “I have felt that lockdown has produced some of my best work. It also gave me the opportunity to help our NHS out which made me feel like I was doing my part.
“I think this can probably be said for all engineers and people in a similar situation where they have needed to step up and produce. You just need to look at the NHS for the best example of that.”
Apprenticeship opened doors
Samir said: “I am now sitting here with a degree, a job that I love and two awards I never thought I would achieve so early, thinking ‘this is only the start and what is next?’. The Graduate Apprenticeship has opened so many doors and widened my engineering network.
“It has now started to sink in that I have a degree and, on reflection, looking back at the hours I spent trying to balance my career, football and family life, it was all worth it. However, seeing my son smile is beyond anything else I will ever achieve.”
More than a degree
Speaking about his apprenticeship journey and experiences, Samir said: “It has been the mentoring and the knowledge that I have gained that means the most to me and not actually having the degree.
“I owe a lot to the people in Thales that have helped me along the way since starting in the company in 2012 and the people that have pushed me to do more and better any work done previously.
Samir added: “I look at my degree as more of a tool to help unlock some different career paths rather than something I can say I have. I do, however, feel that it will help me in my career immensely.”
Looking to the future
Looking to his future, Samir has new learning and development aspirations within his career at Thales. He said: “My short-term goal is to apply for IEng with IMechE, which I have been working on recently. I wouldn’t have even thought about it without the Graduate Apprenticeship.
“Also, as one of the first to complete this Apprenticeship, I want to help those that are currently in the process of completing and help drive them to success.”
He added: “Completing my Graduate Apprenticeship means I now have options to pursue many roles in Thales as having a degree is a minimum entry requirement. I no longer have barriers in place and instead have a wide range of opportunities.” Full details about finding / advertising for an apprentice are at apprenticeships.scot