New Apprenticeship Opportunities to Help Strengthen Workforce

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday May 16 2018

Left to right: Inverness College UHI engineering modern apprentices Connor Brown and Kenneth Murdoch with employer Andrew MacDonald, managing director of Boiler and Valve Engineering.

Businesses in the Highlands and Islands, Perthshire, Argyll and Moray now have more opportunities to develop their workforces through the University of the Highlands and Islands’ modern apprenticeship programme.

The university is offering opportunities to employ over 300 new modern apprentices around the region working within in a range of subject areas, including hospitality, engineering, administration and retail.

It has brought together apprenticeships from across its college network to create a regional portfolio which best serves businesses.

As well as being able to access the modern apprenticeships available through their local college, it will now be easier for businesses to tap into programmes from across the university partnership.

The university’s regional modern apprenticeship programme aims to provide employers with access to comprehensive apprenticeships tailored to their needs.

College staff can support employers to recruit suitable employees for the apprenticeships and will provide guidance to both the business and the apprentice throughout the process.

Successful apprentices will be able to gain valuable experience while working towards an industry recognised qualification.

They can access university facilities and have the option to progress on to further educational opportunities once they have completed their apprenticeship programme.

Dr Diane Rawlinson, the university’s vice-principal for further education, explains the value of modern apprenticeship programmes:

“Research shows that employing apprentices can increase productivity and innovation and those companies investing in their future workforce are those who stay ahead of the game.

“The key to the success of apprenticeships is the engagement of employers in the delivery and the combination of both technical and employability skills development.

“Each employer has their set of values they wish to embed and particular soft skills they value.

“We work to assist them in that task.”

The university offers modern apprenticeship programmes through Argyll College UHI, Inverness College UHI, Lews Castle College UHI, Moray College UHI, North Highland College UHI, Orkney College UHI, Perth College UHI and West Highland College UHI.

Modern apprenticeships are also available at Shetland College UHI through Shetland Council.

 Skills Development Scotland’s head of region for the north, Anthony Standing, said:

“Apprenticeships have been developed to respond to the needs of industry.

“The number of apprenticeship opportunities in the region demonstrates that there remains a healthy pipeline of talent available to employers and the successful work being delivered by the university to support the needs of the local economy.”

 For more information on the range of modern apprenticeships available through the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership, visit



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