More pathways to apprenticeships

Written by Allan Watt on 7 March 2017 in Comment

ASSOCIATE FEATURE: Allan Watt, Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland on how more should be done to ensure every young person gets an opportunity to engage productively in the economy

Princes Trust Scotland apprentice

Apprentice: Picture credit - The Princes Trust Scotland

Associate feature on behalf of The Princes Trust Scotland

For over 40 years the Prince’s Trust has supported the most excluded young people in Scotland to overcome their personal barriers and develop life skills, helping them to turn their lives around. Last year alone, we helped more than 9,000 vulnerable young people who had lost all hope for the future to find a job, start a business or re-engage with their education.

In these increasingly uncertain times, we should do more to make sure every young person gets an opportunity to engage productively in the economy. Achieving this goal means offering more than the ‘one size fits all’ model, providing resources that create alternative pathways to jobs and enterprise. As a country, we need leave no young person behind if we can match our desire for greater equality with flexible and resourced plans that help achieve it.


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The young people we work with aren’t fully ready to benefit from apprenticeships, are still struggling at school and feel uncertain about their future, or have made decisions on their career paths in their 20s and beyond. This underrepresented group will find their talent through Scotland’s apprenticeship programmes only if we provide the tools and support that they need before, during and after apprenticeships to ensure that they are successful.

For this to work, and for Scotland to really close the attainment gap, we should support a flexible approach - exploring a range of different vocational pathways and routes, particularly for those most at risk of failing to get the necessary qualifications at school. This will give every young person hope for the future, help them reach their full potential and play a part in the Scottish economy.

Allan Watt is Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland 

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