Wondering how you’re going to identify and recruit the next generation of your workforce? Well you’re likely to stand a better chance if you get involved with the Foundation Apprenticeship programme.

Young people should be able to gain valuable work experience and industry recognised qualifications and skills while they’re still at school. So Foundation Apprenticeships have been designed by employers to do just this – they ensure you can build the skills your industry needs now and in the future. As Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “They are the chance to get a head start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and gaining the experience every employer looks for.”

And that’s because Foundation Apprentices work on real projects with your staff. They bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to those tasks and they help young people build the skills your industry actually needs for the future.

Young people also develop the soft skills – like problem solving in a workplace, working with others and communicating with people – that employers need and that come from quality work experience. So they’re better prepared for the workplace when they leave school, whatever career path they ultimately choose to follow.

Foundation Apprenticeships are for young people in the senior phase of secondary school and are taken alongside other school subjects. Young people undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship spend part of their time in school, in college and in the workplace. They are designed to benefit young people and the economy by ensuring young people gain qualifications and skills that employers need and employers build the skills their industry needs and prepare future employees for the world of work.

Currently available in ten subjects, including civil engineering, software development and financial services, Foundation Apprenticeships are linked to growth sectors of the Scottish economy meaning young people are getting industry experience and skills that are needed to secure jobs and a career in your industry.

By August 2017 Foundation Apprenticeships should be on offer in every local authority area in Scotland with places currently being recruited for almost 2,000 young people. Our ambition is for them to be part of every school’s offer by 2020, giving many more young people the skills and experience that Scotland’s employers need.

At SDS we are working in strategic partnership with the Chamber to promote Foundation Apprenticeships to employers. We want as many employers to be aware of the opportunities they offer to young people and their businesses. And we want more employers to get involved and work with young people on their Foundation Apprenticeship giving you the chance to attract motivated young people who want a head start in their careers, and create a high quality skills pipeline for your business.

The feedback we receive from young people, their schools and employers is overwhelmingly positive. As Maria Wilcockson, Apprenticeship Scheme Manager, Prudential said: “For Prudential, Foundation Apprenticeships act as a natural feed into our own successful apprenticeship programme, providing better trained recruits. It also provides us with a route via which we can support more young people gain the employability skills to get on in life.”

If you are an employer and want to find out more about how Foundation Apprenticeships can help your business, please contact Garry Clark on gclark@scottishchambers.org.uk or call 0141-204-8316