£1 million boost for skills and jobs in Fife

Fife College
Fife College

Over £1 million has been awarded to Fife Council and Fife College to run a programme of Foundation Apprenticeships for local young people over the next two years. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has awarded the funds to create 250 new Foundation Apprentice opportunities for young people.

The new Foundation Apprenticeships will give hundreds of young people the chance to take their first steps towards work before leaving school and further enhance skills levels in key sectors.

Foundation Apprenticeships allow young people to start training while still at school, offering structured programmes of work based learning, involving training providers, further education colleges and businesses. The programmes will include significant work experience.

They are a great way for S4, S5 or S6 pupils to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace, developing their skills as they learn. The two-year Higher level qualification combines school and college learning with employer experience to enable young people to develop their skills, experience and knowledge.

Foundation Apprenticeship frameworks (subjects) include: Business Skills, Civil Engineering, Creative Digital Media, Engineering, Financial Services, IT Hardware, IT Software, Scientific Technologies (Laboratory Skills), Social Services – Children and Young People, Social Services – Healthcare.

Derek Brown, Fife Council’s Head of Education, said: “We are pleased to say that pupils from all Fife schools can participate in the programme, and young people can register in June. This is a significant enhancement to the traditional academic programme offered by our schools and a real sign that education is adapting to the challenge of preparing young people for the world of work and a positive economic future.

“In Fife, we are already making great strides in ensuring our young people go onto positive destinations and in tackling youth unemployment. The work we are now taking forward is a further step in that direction.”

Fife College’s Principal, Hugh Hall, said: “Fife College is delighted to be working with Fife Council, and together be awarded funding of over £1 million for Foundation Apprenticeships. These Foundation Apprenticeships can play a crucial role in helping young people invest in their future and get ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for them in the world of work, whether they decide to go into work directly or through college or university.

“The apprenticeships run over two years and can be hugely valuable to those pupils who participate.”

Chair of the Fife Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Board, Bob Garmory, said: “These Apprenticeships are effectively laying the foundation for a fulfilling career. This type of apprenticeship will make young people stand out in the jobs market. We are now beginning an active campaign to reach young people, their parents and potential employers who might support this programme. We need as many businesses to get involved as possible.

“Investing in our young workforce is fundamental for our future economic success. Tapping into all our talents is not just the right thing to do, but also makes economic sense as higher skill levels will boost the productivity of Fife’s businesses.”

This boost to Foundation Apprenticeship will support the wider work being done in Fife to develop a future workforce. Participants get an employer-recognised qualification, gain experience in sectors identified as having potential skills gaps, or potential future growth, so that they can enhance their employment and progression prospects. After completing a Foundation Apprenticeship participants can go on to employment, or enrol on a Fast Track Modern Apprenticeship and then on to a Graduate Level Apprenticeship, or on to further study at college or university.