MSP calls for greater choice for Foundation Apprenticeships

REGIONAL MSP JAMIE Halcro Johnston has challenged the minister for Employment and Training on the range of subject choices available to young people in Moray.

The Tory MSP has been raising the issue for young people in Moray who are seeking to enter foundation apprenticeships.

These are designed for school pupils of S5 and S6 age, giving access to vocational education in subjects like engineering, IT and social care. They allow pupils to experience college-learning and training with an employer, while undertaking other qualifications in school.

Foundation apprenticeships were piloted in recent years in Fife and West Lothian, with a commitment from the Scottish Government to roll them out across all local authority areas in Scotland by summer 2017.

However, while seven subject choices were available in the pilots and up to eleven in some parts of Scotland, only three are available to young people in Moray.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “It is clear that there is still a long way to go on the promised implementation of foundation apprenticeships in Moray and the Highlands and Islands.

“While I welcome the Minister’s commitment to enhance subject choice in future years, we can see that the Scottish Government was not well-prepared for the 2017 roll-out. With only three subject choices available to pupils in Moray I am astonished that the SNP is pretending that the programme is now implemented in full across Scotland.

“These types of opportunities are important in the Highlands and Islands, where we want to ensure that good-quality skills and training are available to young people in their communities.

“I will continue to press the Scottish Government to ensure that they keep to their word and put some real effort into the future of foundation apprenticeships in our region.”