Angus Robertson MP called in at the 8 to 8 Dental practice in Buckie on Friday to offer his personal congratulations to the firm, which had embraced the Modern Apprenticeship scheme after advice from Business Gateway.
Following his visit the MP said: “It is great to see young people in new and innovative apprenticeship places and getting great support from local employers like ‘8 to 8 Dental’.
“The biggest investment we can make in Scotland’s future is in our young people – and the SNP is determined to do everything we can to support and empower them.”
Principal dentist at the firm, Hiranya Fadia, added: “We were introduced to Modern Apprenticeships by Business gateway, who got us in touch with Helen Donnaghy at iDENT training.
“They have both been brilliant in their support. As any new business, we’ve had cash flow challenges – but having the apprentices being trained under the scheme, which is fully funded by Skills Development Scotland, made it so much easier to sail through the difficult times.
“We in fact managed to win the ‘Best NHS Practice’ by Dentistry Scotland in 2014 and could not have achieved this without the support from our staff and iDENT training.”
Meanwhile Richard Lochhead MSP was at Johnstons of Elgin, another Moray firm employing apprentices on a variety of skills.
He said: “Johnstons have a large number of apprentices working in many different areas of the business and I commend their support to get young people into high skill jobs.”
Willie Wood, the Johnstons Group human resources director, added: “Modern Apprenticeships are a great foundation for formal, structured training in the critical textile skills that we will require for the generations ahead.
“On completion, employees are awarded with a nationally accredited qualification and at present we have 80 Modern Apprentices currently qualified or in training.”
The visits came on the final day of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) campaign that is now in its fifth year.
SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates said: “Modern Apprenticeships work for employers of all sizes, from family firms to global companies.
“Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates Modern Apprentice employers and the achievements of apprentices, who play a vital and valuable role in Scotland’s economy.”