To round off our celebration of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021, we hear from Principal Audrey Cumberford on her thoughts on Apprenticeships and why organisations across the nation should consider adding apprentices to their workforce.
“Apprenticeships are an important and effective approach to training people for work. The unique combination of work-based learning with an employer, complemented with learning with a college provides so many people with an unrivalled knowledge and experience of their chosen field, at an early stage in their career.
“That can only be a good thing for the nation’s workforce, particularly as many sectors of industry continue to strive for a sustainable future which depends on staff being highly skilled and innovative and who can adapt and learn as technology and working practices evolve.
“Taking on apprentices helps many businesses and organisations not only to ensure they attract talent but also as a way to invest in their people and enhance their skills – not simply for what businesses need now but also to develop the skills that are increasingly important due to the changing nature of the world we work in.
“More than that, as Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, the majority of the training is done ‘on the job’ with the employer, giving the employer the chance to tailor the apprentice’s learning to suit the priorities of the business – therefore maximising productivity and minimising downtime as a result of training. Apprentices, from day one, become immersed in the culture and ways of working of the organisation and quickly become invaluable assets.
“At Edinburgh College we work with employers right across Scotland to support around 2,000 apprentices each year at the College who are working with a wide range of businesses and organisations, and I fully appreciate the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to individuals and the organisations they work with
“I would certainly recommend any business or charity – no matter the size – that is considering employing apprentices, to do it. Investing in apprentices is investing in now, and in the future.”
Funding is available to organisations considering employing apprentices. The Apprentice Employer Grant provides up to £5,000 per apprentice to recruit Modern or Graduate Apprentices. Find out more here.